Thailand Wins Its First Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival (25/05/2010)
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The Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, a spooky tale of reincarnation by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, won the Palme d’Or honour for Best Picture at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in France.

The film was selected by a panel led by director Tim Burton. It tells the story of a dying man who sees ghosts from his past lives. The jungle plays a prominent role in Uncle Boonmee, set in the bush of northeast Thailand, deepening the atmosphere of a story that delves into reincarnation, politics, and myth.

Tim Burton and Benicio del Toro, on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, said the film brought a new, Eastern perspective to their understanding of death.

Dedicating the honour to Thailand, director Apichatpong said it was such a great reward because Uncle Boonmee is a small film, put together on a tiny budget and filmed in the jungle with many hardships around. He also thanked those he called the spirits and ghosts in Thailand who he says made it possible for him to be in France.

Uncle Boonmee was only the sixth Asian film to win the top prize at Cannes in seven decades of the festival, and the first for more than 10 years. Five Asian entries competed for the Palme this year.

In 2002, Apichatpong was lauded at Cannes with the Un Certain Regard prize for his Blissfully Yours and in 2004 he took the Jury prize with Tropical Malady.


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