Memoria review: A surreal and immersive journey into the human mind


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Jessica searches every corner of Colombia for the source of the noise




Apichatpong Weerasethakul

“IN THIS town, there are a lot of people who have hallucinations,” a doctor tells Jessica (Tilda Swinton) at the beginning of Memoria. Then, in a neat encapsulation of the mix of the mystical and the medicinal that runs throughout this strange and heady film, she prescribes the tranquilliser Xanax while advising her patient not to take it in case it inhibits her ability to savour the beauty of the world.

Jessica is a British botanist in Colombia who wakes one night to a heavy thumping noise that is loud enough to set off car alarms. When it becomes apparent that no one else heard it, it sends her on a downwards spiral into anxiety. She can find no obvious source and continues to hear the noise…

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