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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Boonmee raluek chat)


TH AIL A N D Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul


Producers: Simon Field, Keith Griffiths, Apichatpong Weerasethakul Screenwriter: Apichatpong Weerasethakul


Cinematographers: Yukontorn Mingmongkon, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom Editor: Lee Chatametikool


Cast: Sakda Kaewbuadee, Jenjira Pongpas, Thanapat Saisaymar 2010/color/114 min.


APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL


Born in 1970 in Bangkok, Thailand, Joe, as Apichatpong Weerasethakul is known, has a degree in architecture from Khon Kaen University and an MFA in filmmak- ing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was the surprise winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.


Selected Filmography Syndromes and a Century (2006) Tropical Malady (2004) Blissfully Yours (2002)


Dying of kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee returns home to rural Thailand so he can spend his last days among loved ones: his caring but pragmatic sister-in- law Jen; his nephew Tong; and Jaai, a Burmese worker. One evening, they are joined by the spirits of Boonmee’s late wife Huay and long-lost son Boonsong. Here in the realm of magical realism—where such visitations are taken in stride—Huay is a steadying presence, a companion on the way to death, while Boonsong reveals his transformation into a Monkey Ghost from the jungle.


The beautiful northeastern Thai countryside forms the backdrop for the mysti- cal world writer/director Apichatpong Weerasethakul—who is known for his cinematic experimentalism—has created. Enriching it is a peculiar myth about a disfigured princess who becomes lovers with a catfish in a magical pool and Boonmee’s own tale of the evolutionary journey he took out of a sparkling cave, where he lived his first life as a genderless, amorphous being.


This ethereal journey occurs at a measured, meditative pace in which every word counts, where the simplest interactions seem touched by grace and spiritual events take on a gravity and logic of their own. The scale of Uncle Boonmee—which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year—is modest, but its heart is large and incandescent.


—VAL MOSES Sponsored by


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CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA


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