Director: Naoki Katô
Screenwriters: Naoki Katô, Dai Sakô

Institute History

  • 2011 Sundance Film Festival


Jonen is having a crisis of faith. In his youth, he was a punk-rock musician, creating noise and onstage spectacles. Now he’s settled into a life as a Buddhist monk with a wife and five-year-old son. During his career-day speech at a local high school, however, Jonen has a public breakdown that leads to a deep depression when he realizes the importance of music to his life. In an attempt to raise Jonen’s spirits, the compassionate chief monk suggests he play a live show. As he plans for the concert, Jonen faces challenges from past loss, small-town resistance, and the possibility of alienating his family.
Full of authenticity and charm, Abraxas is a subtle exploration of a man’s journey to reconcile the spiritual and secular. Director Naoki Katô cinematically renders the film to complement its philosophy by uniting the everyday and the transcendent. Rich, rewarding, and profoundly moving, Abraxas affirms peace and happiness within and posits "once a punk rocker, always a punk rocker."

— Kim Yutani

Screening Details

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