March 18 – 29
At Tower City
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Country: KAZAKHSTAN, GERMANY, RUSSIA
Run Time: 94 minutes
An absolutely stunning visual delight, BAIKONUR is a most unusual love story. The Baikonur Cosmodrome, an entire Kazakh city administered by Russia, encompasses an old yet ultra-modern space launch facility. Riding furiously across the barren steppes outside Baikonur are rival groups of Kazakh horsemen, intent on being the first to reach newly-landed space junk, which they recycle for a profit. Burning objects rain from the sky on a regular basis. The villagers' motto: Whatever falls from heaven is a gift from God, and belongs to the first who finds it. The launches are monitored by a young Kazakh ham radio operator and space fanatic calling himself Gagarin, after the Soviet cosmonaut. One day the capsule containing a beautiful French space tourist named Julie crashes on its way back to Earth, rendering her comatose. Gagarin takes her tenderly into his yurt and places her on a bier, like Sleeping Beauty. What will happen when she wakes up? Will Gagarin follow Julie to her otherworldly life or remain down-to-the-Kazakh-earth? (In English, Kazakh, Russian, and French with subtitles) – B.B.
Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou
Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
François Cluzet, Omar Sy
German director Veit Helmer was born in 1968 and studied at the Munich Film School. Many of his short films were made in cooperation with film students from Kazakhstan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Indonesia.
"Tuvalu" (1999), "Gate to Heaven" (2003), "Behind the Couch – Casting in Hollywood" (2005), "Absurdistan" (2008), BAIKONUR (2011)