MoMA Presents

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Aug 18–20, 2021


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

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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.


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