The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Apichatpong Weerasethakul captivated arthouse audiences with the visually arresting Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, the first Thai film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Resting at home in the midst of his final days is Uncle Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar), living with his sister-in-law and nephew as he succumbs to illness. After encountering the ghost of his wife and a mysterious figure revealed to be his long-lost son, Boonmee embarks on a vastly spiritual and elemental trek through the various lives he had lived in previous years. The deeper he goes into his past, the more he will begin to make sense of his present.

Apichatpong’s trademark lingering style of filmmaking beautifully complements this beloved take on a ghost story. From its 16mm photography to the grandiosity of its Buddhist mythology, Uncle Boonmee remains his most widely acclaimed work.


“There is a singular quality to Weerasethakul’s work that cannot be mistaken. He is a man with a vision, a true auteur, each film bearing his indelible stamp, a kind of hushed beauty that seems transfixed in time.” — Matthew Lucas, From the Front Row

“Uncle Boonmee is art that embraces, rather than reorders, life’s chaos.” — Michael Atkinson, In These Times

“A special taste, dreamlike and sometimes opaque, or at least translucent, to logical analysis.” — Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal