Feature

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

In this “much-celebrated” film from Thailand, a dying farmer who believes in reincarnation summons up visions from past lives.

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul(Not Rated)

***

This “dream-like” and “much-celebrated” film from Thailand is sometimes resistant to logical analysis, said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. Uncle Boonmee, a dying farmer who believes in reincarnation, is able to summon up visions from past lives and even converse with his late wife and son from this one. “I can’t pretend to understand the intricacies of the Buddhist belief system” that accounts for each mythical creature we see on-screen, but understanding isn’t necessary. “Those who insist on a linear narrative” may get frustrated, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. But this is “not a difficult film,” and if you’re patient, “it can produce something close to bliss.” The key to understanding why, for instance, a catfish seduces a princess in one scene is that, for a Buddhist, “there is no real boundary between past and present, dream and reality, body and spirit.” So forget the rules of Western storytelling, said David Lewis in the San Francisco Chronicle. This “boldly original, oddly affecting meditation on the afterlife will linger in your consciousness (or subconsciousness)” for as many lives as you live.

Recommended

Biden at his best and worst
President Biden.
Picture of Damon LinkerDamon Linker

Biden at his best and worst

Putin reveals the Kremlin is awash in COVID-19 cases
Vladimir Putin
'not one or two'

Putin reveals the Kremlin is awash in COVID-19 cases

France says it killed ISIS Africa leader in 'decisive blow against this terrorist group'
France announces ISIS death
ISIS

France says it killed ISIS Africa leader in 'decisive blow against this terrorist group'

Australians think Biden forgot their prime minister's name at nuclear-sub event
Scott Morrison and Joe Biden
'that fellow Down Under'

Australians think Biden forgot their prime minister's name at nuclear-sub event

Most Popular

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?
Elizabeth Holmes and James Mattis.
Samuel Goldman

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?

How Newsom ran away with the recall
Gavin Newsom.
Picture of David FarisDavid Faris

How Newsom ran away with the recall

Why Laurence Fishburne isn't in the Matrix trailer
The Matrix Resurrections
rabbit hole

Why Laurence Fishburne isn't in the Matrix trailer