Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Thailand/Great Britain/France/Germany/Spain
113 minutes

A lot has been written about Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's unexpected Palme d'Or winner at the 2010 Cannes film festival, most of it blown up out of all proportion due to the "exotic" origin of its recipient. But Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is a much more accessible entry point into the director's dreamy universe than previous work such as Tropical Malady or Syndromes and a Century, with a streamlined, structured narrative and a fable-like tone (probably carried over from mr. Weerasethakul's avowed desire to tell his story as he would a children's tale).
The story of the reconciliation of a terminally ill Thai farmer (Thanapat Saisaymar) with his approaching death, surrounded by his living and dead relatives (including a ghost wife and a hirsute monkey son), Uncle Boonmee is a gentle drift through mr. Weerasethakul's usual theme of recurrence, of the continuum between life and death, past and present, history and art, done at a leisurely pace, with some sly, cheerful humour and always bearing in mind there is a lot to enjoy and appreciate in the ride itself. Part of a multimedia project about the Northeastern Thai region of Khon Kaen, created around its history and memory, Uncle Boonmee is the perfect calling card for those who want to know what the fuss is all about.
© 2011 Jorge Mourinha

Starring Thanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakarn Aphaiwong, Jeerasak Kulhong, Kanokporn Thongaram. 
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul; produced by Simon Field, Keith Griffiths, Charles de Meaux, mr. Weerasethakul, Hans W. Geissendörfer, Luis Miñarro, Michael Weber; screenplay by mr. Weerasethakul, inspired by the book by Phra Sripaiyattiweti, A Man Who Can Recall His Past Lives; music by Koichi Shimizu; directors of photography (Kantana Lab, Image Film), Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Yukontorn Mingmongkon, Charin Pengpanich; production designer, Akekarat Homlaor; costume designer, Chatchi Chaiyon; film editor, Lee Chatametikool.

An Illuminations Films presentation of a Kick The Machine Films/Illuminations Film Past Lives production; in co-production with Anna Sanders Films, The Match Factory, Geissendörfer Film- und Fernsehproduktion, Eddie Saeta; with the participation of Fonds Sud Cinéma; with the support of the World Cinema Fund, Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam Film Festival, ZDF/ARTE, Louverture Films, Haus der Kunst, Fact, Animate Project. (World sales, The Match Factory.)
Screened: Curtas Vila do Conde 2010 official closing screening, Teatro Municipal de Vila do Conde (Screen 1), July 10th 2010.


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