Kicking the Clouds

What are the things that define identity, and what are children and grandchildren given to take with them on their journey through life? What role does language and speech play, and what happens when a language is prohibited from being spoken? A poetic exploration of the filmmaker’s Indigenous origin and mother tongue. The setting and starting point is an audio recording that the filmmaker’s mother once made with her own mother – in an attempt to learn the almost forgotten Pechanga language from her.
by Sky Hopinka USA 2021 English 16’ Colour Documentary form


Director Sky Hopinka
Cinematography Sky Hopinka
Editing Sky Hopinka
Music Courtney Asztalos
Sound Sky Hopinka

Sky Hopinka

The filmmaker (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington State and spent a number of years in California, Oregon and Wisconsin. While in Portland, he studied and taught Chinuk Wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. He took a BA in liberal arts at Portland State University and an MA in film, video, animation and new genres at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His work explores personal positions towards Indigenous homeland and landscape, and language as a bearer of culture.

Filmography (short films)

2014 wawa · Kunįkaga Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkaga Remembers the Welcome Song 2015 Jáaji Approx. · Venite et Loquamur 2016 Visions of an Island 2017 I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become · Dislocation Blues 2018 Fainting Spells · When You’re Lost in the Rain 2019 Lore 2020 małni – Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore 2021 Mnemonics of Shape and Reason · Kicking the Clouds

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022