Journeys Beyond the Cosmodrome

  • Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Mind the Gap
Running Time:53 min.
Premiere Status:World
Director:Jeanne C. Finley
Lyazzat Khanim
Producer:Jeanne C. Finley
Lyazzat Khanim
Lydia Matthews
Screenwriter:Lyazzat Khanim
Jeanne C. Finley
Cinematographer:Jeanne C. Finley
Editor:Jeanne C. Finley
Print Source:Jeanne C. Finley
Note Writer:Brendan Peterson


This haunting, poetic film calls forth the dreams of nine 16-year-old Kazakhstan orphans. With the aid of filmmakers Jeanne C. Finley and Lyazzat Khanim, each teen presents heavily imagined visions of their future lives. Their current reality is quickly changing as they prepare to move away from the only place they’ve known as home, away from the only real family they’ve ever had. The fact that these fascinating and colorful kids have grown up next to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world's first and largest operational space launch facility, makes their far-out visions especially poignant. From the majestic Kazakh Steppes, the young artists use a mixture of words, pictures, and music to craft mesmerizing prophecies of what adulthood and independence will mean to them. Not surprisingly, themes of time, space, memory, and emotional exploration weave into each piece of gorgeous, profound art. A stirring, trippy, one-of-a-kind experience, this film will expose you to worlds you’ve never known and dreams that just might come true.

EXPECTED GUESTS: Director Jeanne C. Finley, Collaborating Director Lyazzat Khanim, Composer Kri Schlafler

Thank you to our Community Partner Berkeley Film Foundation!

Included Shorts

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) (40min) More

Additional Information

Los Angeles native Jeanne C. Finley is an experimental and documentary artist working in film, photography, installations, video, site-specific public works, and more. Among her film and video projects are Nomads at the 25 Door (1991), Involuntary Conversation (1991), A.R.M. Around Moscow (1993), O Night Without Objects, a Trilogy (1998), Loss Prevention (2000), Lost (2006), Manhole 452 (2011), Fat Chance (2013), and Falsework (2015).