With Thais in deep depression after two months of red shirt protests, which came to a violent conclusion last week leaving 85 people dead and over 1,000 injured, today’s news that a Thai movie had won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival was good news indeed. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul is the first Asian film to win the coveted Palme d’Or since 1997.
Khun Apichatpong’s movie is described as part fantasy, part reality with something of a magic realism quality to it. It’s such an unusual movie, famous Hollywood director Tim Burton was effusive in his praise of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives saying, “I just felt it was like a beautiful, strange dream”. The film tells the story of the last few days in Uncle Boonmee’s life.
The Palme d’Or is the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, so Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives has something to be proud about, It also gave Thais something to smile and be proud about today. And, after last week’s sadness, that can only be a good thing.
Uncle Bonmee…..by the way, is available on DVD on Amazon complete with English subtitles if you haven’t seen it yet. I highly recommend it.