I Am a Monk

July 23, 2016
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Film past event


New York Premiere

After the sudden death of his grandfather, 24-year-old bookstore clerk Koen (Atsushi Ito) cautiously accepts his inherited role as abbot of the Eifuku-ji Temple in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, 57th stop along Shikoku’s famous 88 temple pilgrimage. As he learns the ropes of monkhood—from memorizing ritual prayers to buying the right set of head clippers—the film offers an inside look at the day-to-day life of a monk (including after hours drinking and baseball practice), humorously bringing to relief the relatable, earnest human beings behind the traditional robes and shaved heads. An often moving and poignant coming-of-age story, I Am a Monk uses Koen’s bumpy journey toward self-realization to ask universal questions about life’s purpose while ultimately leaving all possibilities open.

2015. 99 min. DCP, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yukinori Makabe. With Atsushi Ito, Mizuki Yamamoto, Junpei Mizobata, Gaku Hamada, Miyuki Matsuda.

Based on an autobiographical essay “Boku wa Bosan” by Missei Shirakawa.

Part of JAPAN CUTS 2016.

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I Am a Monk © 2015 "I Am a Monk" Film Partners.

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