Walker Art Center

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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

“A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.” —A.V. Club

This hypnotic tale of a man confronting his mortality plunges the audience into the metaphysics of our connections to all things past, present, and future. Boonmee, a slowly dying rural farmer, receives visits from both the ghost of his dead wife and his long-lost son, who has transformed into a man-size monkey spirit. Together, the family treks through the jungle to a mysterious hilltop cave that may or may not be a passage from one life to the next. Inspired by a book of the same name that director Apichatpong Weerasethakul received from a Buddhist monk, Uncle Boonmee is a rare and beguiling comment on death and spirituality that is completely original in film. 2010, 35mm, in Thai and French with English subtitles, 114 minutes. Preceded by the Walker-commissioned short Cactus River (Khong Lang Nam). 2012, video 10 minutes.

The Bangkok-born Weerasethakul has had a long relationship with the Walker. The subject of a 2004 Regis Dialogue and Retrospective, he created the first artist commission for the Walker Channel in 2012, Cactus River, which will also be screened during this program. A number of the director’s feature films have won prizes at Cannes, including the Un Certain Regard award for Blissfully Yours, the Jury Prize for Tropical Malady, and the Palme d’Or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, which screened at the Walker in 2011.

This special free screening will be introduced by Marcus Hu, co-president of Strand Releasing, and commemorates a generous donation by Strand Releasing to the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection, which includes this title and 14 other 35mm feature films.


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