Om Is Where the Heart Is

Austin Film Society presents 'One Track Heart'

Om Is Where the Heart Is

A tall, dark-haired Jewish guy with a wry sense of humor walks into a Hindu temple. ...

Sure, it may sound like the setup of a joke, but really it's just the life of Krishna Das, formerly known as Jeffrey Kagel. In the documentary One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, named after his debut album of religious chanting and devotional music, director Jeremy Frindel navigates the long and winding road of Kagel's life that led him to where he is today: an internationally known musician with a devoted following and almost a dozen albums under his belt, including collaborations with renowned producer Rick Rubin.

It wasn't a smooth ride.

Kagel went from being a morose, blues-loving bus driver to an acid-tripping twentysomething who bowed out of sessions with what would become Blue Öyster Cult before listening to a life-changing talk by a former Harvard professor and taking a trip to India to meet his guru, Maharaj-ji. It was another long series of events, including a downward spiral through cocaine and freebasing addictions and serious depression, before he started over as a father, a healthy man, and a chanter. Despite taking almost 20 years to get there, Krishna Das is finally keeping his promise and paying tribute to his old friend in the only way he knows how.

Along the way, there's plenty of archival and concert footage (including a segment from his first bus tour in 2010) to keep viewers engaged on the roller coaster toward commercial success, plus interviews with friends and colleagues both here and in India. You may feel like you need a glossary at certain points – notably, the first 10 minutes – but at some point, the universal languages of grief, music, and friendship take over.

Regardless of whether you share his beliefs or understand the language, you'll find yourself sucked in by the tranquil chants and the endearing story of one hippie's journey through life, loss, and love. It's only fitting that it's screening at the temple of indie film, AFS at the Marchesa.

AFS Doc Nights presents One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 7:30pm, at the Marchesa (6226 Middle Fiskville). See for tickets and complete event details.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin Film Society
We Have a Lot of History Here: <i>The Austin Chronicle</i> and <i>Between the Lines</i>
We Have a Lot of History Here: The Austin Chronicle and Between the Lines
How Jeff Goldblum’s first starring role helped shape the paper we became

Nick Barbaro, Aug. 2, 2019

The Austin Film Society's Noir Canon Travels the Mean Streets
The Austin Film Society's Noir Canon Travels the Mean Streets
The city is the star of the recent AFS film series

Julian DeBerry, Nov. 23, 2018

More by Monica Riese
A Paramount Slate
A Paramount Slate
Paramount and Stateside programming heats up

April 3, 2014

Board Games and More
Board Games and More
Announcements from the Austin Film Society

April 2, 2014


Austin Film Society, One Track Heart, Jeffrey Kagel, Krishna Das, Maharaj-ji, acid, LSD, Harvard, India, yoga, Hindu

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle