Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

United Kingdom, Thailand, France, Germany, Spain, drama, comedy, 113 min., 2010
Suffering from kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar) has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife Huay (Natthakarn Aphaiwonk) appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave – the birthplace of his first life... Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” is a story about reincarnation, the transmigration of souls, and the relationship between man and nature. The film is also the director’s personal homage to his country and its culture, and to cinema in particular. It is a magic, mystical and inspirational comedy, a true masterpiece with exquisite cinematography and sound design. The film mesmerises us with distinctive shifts of tone and style, sometimes it is almost comic and ironic; at other times very serious and moving, it flows like a stream of consciousness, drifting from one remembrance to another.

2010 – Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, France.

About the director:
Apichatpong Weerasethakul was born in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1970. He graduated from The Art Institute of Chicago and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking. He started making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature “Mysterious Object at Noon” (Dokfar Nai Meu Marn) in 2000. Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, he devotes himself to promoting experimental and independent filmmaking through his company “Kick the Machine Films”, founded in 1999. Weerasethakul has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998. His art projects and feature films have won him widespread recognition and numerous festival prizes, including jury prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for the film “Tropical Malady” (Sud Pralad 2004) and “Un Certain Regard” program‘s prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival for “Blissfully Yours” (Sud Sanaeha 2002). In 2008, he embarked on the “Primitive Project”, a multi-platform work of which “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” (Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat) is part. The film won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. It became the first Asian film to win the award since 1997 and Apichatpong Weerasethakul became the first Thai director to receive the award.

Section: Wide angle

Screenplay: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Dir. of Photography: Yukontorn Mingmongkon, Charin Pengpanich, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom

Music: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, Koichi Shimizu

Cast: Thanapat Saisaymar, Natthakarn Aphaiwonk, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Geerasak Kulhong, Jenjira Pongpas