Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
2010 / 114 minutes / 1:1.85 / Colour / Dolby SRD / Thailand/ UK/ Germany/ France/ Spain - In Thai with English Subtitles
Directed by: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
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´┐╝Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife 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... From the director of SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY, TROPICAL MALADY and BLISSFULLY YOURS.


In his short career, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has come to be recognized as one of the most original voices in Asian and world cinema. His four feature films and his short films have won him widespread international recognition and numerous festival prizes. »Blisfuly Yours« (2002) won the prize of »Un Certain Regard«, and »Tropical Malady« (2004) the Jury Prize of the Cannes Film Festival Competition. His feature Syndromes and a Century (2006) was the first Thai film to be selected for competition at the Venice Film Festival. With »Tropical Malady«, »Syndromes and a Century« has been recognized as one of the best films of the last decade in several 2010 polls.

´┐╝Apichatpong was born in Bangkok and grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand. He holds a degree in Architecture from Khon Kaen University and a Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He began making film and video shorts in 1994, and completed his first feature in 2000. Lyrical and often fascinatingly mysterious, his works deal with memory, subtly addressing personal politics and social issues. Working outside of the strict Thai film studio system, he is active in promoting independent filmmaking through his company »Kick the Machine«, founded in 1999. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998. In 2007 The Thai Ministry of Culture awarded Apichatpong with one of Thailand’s most important awards for visual artists, the Silpatorn Award. In 2008, he became the first artist to receive the Fine Prize from the 55th Carnegie International, USA, and last year he was short listed for one of the art world’s most prestigious awards, the Hugo Boss Award with the winner to be announced in 2010.

"Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" compliments Apichatpong’s ‘Primitive project’, which deals with ideas of extinction and the recollection of past lives. Other elements of the project are the ambitious multiscreen installation, ‘Primitive’, which was presented in 2009 in Munich, Liverpool, and at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and two short films, ‘A Letter to Uncle Boonmee’ and ‘Phantoms of Nabua’.
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Toronto International Film Festival (North American Premiere)
Sept 16th @ ISABEL BADER THEATRE - 10:30pm (1st Public Screening)
Sept 18th at AMC 5, 9:15am (2nd Public Screening)

Calgary International Film Festival: Buy Tix Online!
Friday, Oct. 1, 07:15pm - Eau Claire Market - Cineplex Odeon - #1

Vancouver International Film Festival: Buy Tix Online!
Wed, Oct 6th 9:00pm - Empire Granville 7
Tue, Oct 12th 4:15pm - Vancity Theatre

Varsity VIP Cinema, Toronto: Oct 8 - 14

Bell Lightbox, Toronto Buy Tix Online!
Oct 15 - 20, Nightly at 8:45 PM
Facebook Event Link!

Vancity, Vancouver: Oct 16 - 21

The Bloor Cinema, Toronto: Oct 17 - 19

Cinecenta, Victoria: Oct 27 & 28

Vancity, Vancouver (Return Engagement, One Night Only!): Oct 30

Metro Cinema, Edmonton: Nov 5 - 9

The Bloor Cinema, Toronto: Nov. 19, 21 & 23

Carlton Cinema, Toronto: Opens Oct 29

Princess Cinema, Waterloo: Nov 26 - Dec 2

Cinema du Parc, Montreal: Nov 26 - Dec 9, French at 7pm/ English at 9pm

Broadway Cinema, Saskatoon: Nov 26 - Dec 2

Bytowne Cinema, Ottawa: Dec 10 - 16

Denman Cinemas, Vancouver: Returns Dec 22nd

Bloor Cinema, Toronto: Jan 6 - 9, 2011

The Royal, Toronto: Jan 11 - 15, 2011

Ciné-Centre et Ciné Vidéo Club, Quebec City: Opens Jan 14 (w/ French Subtitles)

Regina Public Library: Jan 27 - 30, 2011

Hyland Cinema, London, Ontario: March 4 - 10, 2011

Bloor Cinema, Toronto: Feb 6 &10, 2011

Fire Hall Films, Yukon Film Society: Feb 11 @ 2:15pm

Cinéma Magog, Quebec: Opens Feb 19 (w/ French Subtitles)

Plaza Theatre, Calgary: March 25 - 31, 2011

Winnipeg Cinematheque: April 8,9,10, 13 & 14, 2011
Pacific Cinematheque: April 23 & 27, 2011

Enter the category for this item: REVIEWS


Delirious images tell a story words cannot
- The Province

Uncle Boonmee proves itself quite worthy of the accolades it’s accrued
- Westender

Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul has found the ideal way to avoid having censors in his home country touch his films. All he has to do is send the film to Cannes first and win the Palme d’Or award. That’s what Weerasethakul (who generally lets North Americans call him “Joe” to avoid mangling his name) did with his sweet supernatural fantasy Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, which opens at the Vancity Theatre on October 16 after delighting audiences at VIFF.
- Georgia Straight

This Palme d'Or winner is brilliant, beautiful...
- Georgia Straight

Also among Oscar submissions from 65 countries that were announced Wednesday is Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," which won the top Cannes award, the Palme d'Or, last May.
- Macleans

Other notable choices include Apichatpong Weerasethakul's dreamy Palme d'Or winner (and festival favourite) Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand) and Feng Xiaogang's epic earthquake drama Aftershock (China), which became the country's all-time domestic box office champion after taking in the equivalent of about $99.3 million Cdn earlier this year.

Uncle Boonmee is a strange film by almost any mea sure, with spirit fig ures who appear with out fan­fare and inter act quite nat u rally with the liv ing, who them selves respond — after some ini tial expres­sions of sur prise — with lit tle evi dence of fear.
- Geist

The most unexpected (and rapturously received) Palme d'Or winner ever, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's magical vision of love and loss centres on a man preparing for his own death. Uncle Boonmee is visited by his late wife and his long-lost son (the latter in non-human guise) and the presence of these loved ones triggers vivid memories of his past lives.
- Soul Food Movies

"a strange and unforgettable experience"
- Vancouver Sun

"A surreal stunner"
- Vancouver Observer

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is indeed different and mysterious, and it certainly helps if viewers go into it with some familiarity with Weerasethakul’s work and methods. But the experience it provides is surely one to be contemplated and cherished in equal measure, and I can’t wait to partake in it once again.
- Row Three

4 Stars! "Uncle Boonmee: monkey ghosts and catfish sex"
- Globe and Mail

5 Stars! "The film’s generosity and warmth practically radiate off the screen, and you can’t help but be pulled along on Apichatpong’s odd, wonderful journey. If you’ve seen Syndromes And A Century or Tropical Malady, you already know and love his distinctive tone. If you haven’t, you’ll pick it up quickly enough."
- Now Magazine

Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Palme d’Or–winning vision gleams in the Lightbox’s regular-season debut
- Eye Weekly

"Uncle Boonmee is actually Weerasethakul’s funniest film"
- Toronto Star

The film also contains the best woman/catfish sex scene in recent memory; and a bilocating monk — possibly one of Boonmee’s past lives, but maybe not.
- National Post

"obscurely fascinating"
- Toronto Sun

" almost eerie, lulling pace and the constant soundtrack of a living environment give us a sense of the otherworldly, exaggerating the possibilities of thematic interpretation. Once again, Weerasethakul has delivered a uniquely compelling film to mull over and re-examine."
- Exclaim

4 Stars! Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has emerged at the top of international art cinema in the past decade – this latest film took the Palme d'or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Uncle Boonmee is a delightfully original, if not entirely explicable, story of a dying Buddhist man's journey into the jungle. On the last night of his life, Boonmee is joined on his veranda by the ghost of his dead wife and son, who disappeared years before and now appears as a “monkey ghost” in an ape costume with glowing red eyes. Finally, Uncle Boonmee begins a journey into the forest to revisit his first birth place (as a fish?) to relive his past existences, including as at least one of the agents in an erotic underwater tryst between a catfish and a disfigured princess. L.L.
- Globe and Mail

Call me a sucker for slow, dreamy Asian films, but I'm looking forward to Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, this year's Cannes Palme d'Or winner from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. This is the man whose previous feature, Syndromes and a Century, topped the TIFF Cinematheque poll as the best film of the last decade.

"lives up to the hype and then some"
- Metro

"Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s truly masterful meditation on life, death, rebirth, and cinema itself."
- Torontoist

Q: What movie playing at TIFF are you most excited about?
Q: Uncle Boonmee, by a country mile.
- National Post

"What with its Palme d’Or triumph, the latest marvel by Apichatpong Weerasethakul will hopefully expand the director’s rep beyond the rarefied-cinephile types who already worship at his altar (myself included). An exploration of animist myths and reincarnation beliefs in the countryside in Thailand’s northeast, it is (more or less) the story of a dying man who is visited by two living relatives, the ghost of his long-dead wife and his long-missing son, who now takes the non-human form of a red-eyed Monkey Ghost. It’s immediately clear that Weerasethakul has disregarded any possible division between our world and any others that may exist. Yet the story is also enriched by deeply felt notes of love, grief and joy, as well as a delicious sense of humour and — even more surprising — an awareness of the grim political realities for rural Thais. Most importantly, it’s gobsmackingly beautiful."
- Andersonesque

"a buoyant phantasmagoria about a dying man exploring his previous incarnations, told in a style that appropriates the look of the Thai genre films Weerasethakul gorged himself on while growing up, is well deserving of any and all praise heaped upon it."
- Torontoist

"The most unexpected (and rapturously received) Palme d'Or winner ever"
- Northern Stars

"Apichatpong (Joe) has pursued his unique brand of cinema with unswerving purity for a decade, and this supernatural tale may well be his masterpiece"
- Toronto Star

"A certain Oscar contender for Best Foreign film in 2011"

"This is the otherworldly film that, this past spring, made Apichatpong Weerasethakul the first Thai director to ever win the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes. The playful, meditative and surreal drama, about a man’s deathbed musings on reincarnation, has garnered raves from critics, film programmers and adventurous movie fans on the festival circuit."
- CBC.ca

5 Stars! "There's a generosity and warmth here that practically radiate off the screen; you can't help but be pulled along as Weerasethakul takes his odd, wonderful journey."
- Now Magazine

Not only will Filmswelike host the pic's North American bow in September in Toronto (Mann's shop is around the corner from the fest's new hub), but "Uncle Boonmee" is one of three hot titles to get its first run at the TIFF Bell Lightbox immediately following the fest (Sept. 23).
- Variety

Oh yes, there will be gay zombies. And monkey ghosts.
- Eye Weekly

TIFF will also be hosting the North American premieres of the Palme d’Or winner from Cannes, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, and New Wave stalwart Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialism. Weerasethakul is a confirmed guest, and TIFF is still hoping to persuade Godard to make his first Toronto visit in 13 years.
- Toronto Star

While many gather to watch the next big blockbuster to hit the screens, there are others who seek out the more alternative options to mainstream. FilmsWeLike, the independent distribution company headed by filmmaker Ron Mann, recently announced that the 2010 Palm d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat); I Wish I Knew (Hai Shang Chuan Qi) - the new film from master Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhang-Ke; and The Light Thief (Svet-Aki) a delightful gem from Kyrgyzstan’s Aktan Arym Kubat will be showcased at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
- Digital Journal

Winner of this year's Palme d'Or, Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul takes viewers on a subliminal journey through a cinematic border zone where magic, transmigration of souls and generations of memory cohabit in a highly original masterpiece.
- TwitchFilm

"Independent, art-house cinema may be experiencing an unprecedented financial lull, but you’d never know it from the vibrant list of master filmmakers coming to the Toronto International Film Festival next month. Festival organizers announced the final additions to their lineup Tuesday, including new films from French director Jean-Luc Godard, Chinese auteur Jia Zhang-ke, British filmmaker Ken Loach and the globally acclaimed Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul."
- Globe and Mail

TIFF will also offer chances to see some of the hottest new films, including Cannes 2010 Palme D’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives;
- Toronto Star

Bell Lightbox on Monday also unveiled a fall film lineup heavy on foreign-language arthouse titles and film print restorations to follow TIFF’s upcoming Sept. 9 to 19 installment.

The festival’s year-round home and its five cinema screens will launch Sept. 23 with screenings of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Oscar winner “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,”
- TO411

"a cinematic experience"
- The Coast

"To open the building, we wanted to celebrate the best films of today and the great films that got us here," Cowan says. Exclusive engagements of contemporary and classic films will begin on Sept. 23 and run for at least one week, starting with Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Palme d'Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
- National Post

TIFF Bell Lightbox set for sweet opening... Lauded contemporary films, including Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Palme d'Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Live
- Toronto Sun