VANCOUVER PREMIERE! ► Since premiering at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Abraxas has received rave reviews for its story and for the performance, both musical and dramatic, of Japanese indie rock superstar Suneohair. Continuing the theme of self-discovery in this evening’s Kibatsu line-up, Abraxas tells the story of a punk musician turned Zen monk struggling with his personal demons while those around him both support him and are healed by him in mysterious ways. “Abraxas sports more than enough novelty just by allowing its hero the contradictions inherent in being a Buddhist monk by day and a punk rocker by night. Naoki Kato’s gently appealing serio-comedy treats mental illness and key Buddhist concepts, mostly involving mortality, with the same wry respect ... Despite a few improbabilities, the film's low-key progress is ingratiating, and its unshowy presentation nonetheless manages to capture the natural beauty of the region that is the current locus of Japan’s post-earthquake/tsunami nuclear crisis. Adapting Buddhist monk Sokyu Genyu’s novel in his first professional feature, director/co-scenarist Kato demonstrates a sure touch with pacing, atmosphere, and astutely cast actors” (Variety). Colour, 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles. 113 mins.