MoMA Presents

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Aug 18–20, 2021

MoMA

Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives). 2010. Thailand. Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Courtesy Strand Releasing
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1, Theater 1 The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1

Proof of vaccination is required for on-site film screenings (except those in the Sculpture Garden). Learn more about visiting us safely.

Boonmee, dying of kidney failure, is visited on his rural tamarind farm by his sister and nephew. As Boonmee moves towards death, contemplating his karmic actions and spending time with the ghosts of his departed wife and child, the film ambiguously suggests his past lives in human and animal form. (Was Boonmee a princess, or possibly a catfish? A water buffalo? Does it really matter?). Boonmee treks through the jungle, a site of both past and future lives, recalling infinite possibilities of reincarnation. The deceptively simple storytelling unravels with humor toward the holy and reverence for the mundane, casting off the shackles of time. This Palme d’Or–winning classic is as electrifying today as it was when it first came stateside 10 years ago—it’s generous filmmaking that grows with you, reflecting your own past and future back to you.

Organized by Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film.

  • This film series is part of MoMA Presents.
  • Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

    Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.

    Licensing

    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

    Feedback

    This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].