Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 2010 Palme d’Or recipient Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was just one component of the Primitive Project, which also included a multi-part installation and two short films. All of these works were inspired by Nabua, a once populous village that was put under intense military occupation from the 1960s to the 1980s as Thailand’s totalitarian government set out to rid the region of communism.
Even without digging too deep into what these images serve as metaphors for, it can be said that the surface pleasures of Weerasethakul’s features are here in full force. Namely, gorgeous long takes of outdoor scenery and minimal yet immersive sound design, allowing the viewer to really take in the sights and sounds of life on the edge of the jungle. This blog contains a wonderfully comprehensive write-up of both films, while Weerasethakul’s own words about his work, along with the films themselves, can be found on their respective pages over at Animate Projects.
— Garret Kriston