Director: Kim Mordaunt
Starring: Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam
From Laos comes The Rocket, one of the first feature films from this country to be released internationally. A family set off on a journey through war scarred Laos in search of a new home and a better life. The grandmother suspects that only surviving twin Ahlo is cursed - when twins are born the belief is that one is blessed and the other is cursed. After many disastrous occurrences in their travels, as a final plea to prove he's not cursed, Ahlo aims to win a monetary award by building a rocket and entering the prestigious but dangerous Rocket Festival.
The Rocket is a cinematic first feature for Australian trained director Kim Mordaunt and also for the two child performers who are outstanding as the children who seek happiness. The cast includes many fine actors unknown outside Laos, notably actress Bunsri Yindi, who plays the boys grandmother Taitok, a traditionalist who blames her grandson for all that is negative.
The Rocket is inspiring and well crafted having won many awards. Beautifully photographed in the mountains of Laos, real rituals and festivities are captured on film showcasing lifestyles in a country hidden to the outside world. Gripping yet heart warming, this is the story of a young boy's quest to eradicate his guilt and self doubt; to reconcile with his father and most importantly for the acceptance of his family. JAKE