Pho Pye is a punk rocker from Myanmar. Soon he will play a concert in his hometown with his friends, but first he has to fight his inner demons by meditating in Bagan.

Not many club and pub owners dares to let the punks throw a gig in their joint. Because of that, concerts like this are rare.

When going to Bagan to meditate, Pho Pye sees beautiful surroundings and gets relief in his mind.

Yangon has a small, but tight crew of punks.

Pho Pye lives in Yangon City with his mother, father, sister and this rooster.

Pho Pye is a punk rocker from Myanmar. Soon he will play a concert in his hometown with his friends, but first he has to fight his inner demons by meditating in Bagan.

The punk that went to temple

This is the story of Pho Pye; a young punk rocker from Myanmar that sets out on a soul searching journey to meditate before a concert in Yangon. The project will be presented as a short documentary film.

- You have to pray to Buddha before going, she whispers to her son Pho Pye. With a grim look on her face, she nods to the shrine above the TV. He rolls his eyes while heading for the door. The rings in his earlobes are as big as coins. Piercings shine in his face beneath a red mohawk. From the balcony, they can hear the house pet, a rooster’s crow along with cars honking their horns. Pho Pye is ready for a long journey and a brand new experience. – I am playing a concert in Yangon next week, but my mind is not where it should be. I am confused, have a short temper and get angry when playing or watching a concert. Because of that, I am going to Bagan to meditate. The trip is not motivated by religion, it is all about clearing my mind, he explains.

The air condition system makes an ice-cold wind that runs through the bus to Bagan. The mid section TV shows an old, local sit com. Pho Pye leans his head to the window. As he takes a glance at the shining moon, he dreams about the ancient temple city and the escape from the city noise and his family’s judgment of his life as a punk. A tear rolls down his cheek as he says; – I am not the person my family wants me to be. But being a punk is my life, and I refuse to change.

A PUNK’S JOURNEY – teaser from KristofferKumar on Vimeo

Since the eighties, a small, but dedicated punk scene has grown in Myanmar. Punk legend That Khing was one of the first punks in the country; our people have gone through a huge repression during the dark age with the military government, he says. The humble, skinny man grew up in a country where all forms of art and media were cencored, in a time where the leaders were highly accused of breaking human rights. – Maybe it was because of the leader’s repression of the people that punk culture had a reason to grow in Myanmar, he suggests.

A pack of goats run across the yard of an old, deserted temple as Pho Pye enters the gate. He has spent five days on a squeaky bike riding up and down the dusty roads of Bagan. He has witnessed breathtaking sunsets from huge temples he previously only has seen on postcards in Yangon. What he has enjoyed the most, is the complete silence. It is mid day and Pho Pye’s feet are burning on the stone ground of the temple. He climbs a small wall to find his peace in an outdoor window as he crosses his legs and closes his eyes to meditate. His mind is finally ready to rock on stage with his friends back home.

Meanwhile in Yangon, his mother is sleeping peacefully on a mattress on the living room floor. She is patiently waiting for her son to come home to give him a big hug and hear stories from the amazing journey.

by Kristoffer Kumar

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