Mysterious and meditative film by Thai film shaman Apichatpong Weerasethakul, with Tilda Swinton wandering through Colombia in search of the origin of a loud bang.

Please note that this film is in English and Spanish, with Dutch subtitles.
Time & Tickets

Ever since being startled by a loud bang at daybreak only she seems to have heard, Jessica is unable to sleep. She goes in search of its origin, linking it with colonial history, the climate crisis and civil wars that still affect contemporary Colombia.

In Bogotá to visit her sister, she befriends Agnes, an archaeologist studying human remains discovered within a tunnel under construction. Jessica travels to see Agnes at the excavation site. In a small town nearby, she encounters a fish scaler, Hernan. They share memories by the river. As the day comes to a close, Jessica is awakened to a sense of clarity.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s (UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES, TROPICAL MALADY, CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR) latest masterpiece is mysterious and unique, even by the director’s standards. Weerasethakul weaves his signature serene narrative style into a carefully designed land- and soundscape that captures the elusive genius of the locus with precise, perfect simplicity. Co-winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Colombia , Thailand, France, Germany, Mexico, Qatar, UK, China, Switzerland, 2021, 136 min. English & Spanish spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Tilda Swinton, Elkin Díaz, Jeanne Balibar, Juan Pablo Urrego, Daniel Giménez Cacho.

MEMORIA, like the rest of Weerasethakul's cinema, is not a film to be described by what happens in it. To fully experience his cinema, one has to surrender to its images and sounds, its rhythm and flow. In line with this philosophy, the director 4 years ago conceived the SleepCinemaHotel, an installation designed for the Rotterdam Film Festival. The idea was that visitors, while lying in a bed, could immerse in an associative montage of narrative and soundless archive images, accompanied by soft sounds of nature. The director in general doesn't mind if people fall asleep during his films; with SleepCinemaHotel this was explicitly his intention. In this respect, all his films are set between dimensions: between sleeping and waking, between memory and hallucination. In the case of MEMORIA, Tilda Swinton – thin, almost transparent – is the perfect guide for what Sasja Koetsier in the Filmkrant calls "a sleepwalking exploration of the scarred landscape of history".

Curious for more information on the enigmatic director? Find here an extensive profile by The New Yorker.