The Rocket

May 9, 20178:30pm

This Australian underdog drama about a young boy thought to bring bad luck to his family is set in the little-filmed country of Laos (one of the world’s few remaining communist states and one of the poorest countries in East Asia), and spoken in the Lao language. While some of the film was filmed in Thailand, much of it (e.g. the rocket festival which is central to the film and all the landscape shown) was filmed under difficult conditions in Laos itself.

Rocket festivals take place all around the country at the end of the dry season, calling for rain. The ‘cursed’ young boy Ahlo is played by Sittiphon Disamoe, a former street child; Loungnam Kaosainam, who plays the young girl Kia, was recruited from a puppet drama group on the outskirts of the capital of Laos, Vientiane.

The Rocket is the first feature film from Sydney-based documentary maker Kim Mordaunt, whose previous work includes a documentary about the region called Bomb Harvest. Living in Hanoi and working and travelling in the region inspired him to learn more about Laos and to make a feature film set there. He has stated that the film is about “first world countries recognising the impact they have on third world countries, not only in war but in industry and then on a very personal level … the main message is there’s this country with incredible courage”.

Seamless melding of history’s dark undertow and a child’s indefatigable optimism. Sheri Linden, LA Times

Long on atmosphere and less sentimental about poverty than Beasts of the Southern Wild, the film carries a potent charge of authenticity. Kyle Smith, NY Post


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Film Information
Release year: 2013
Running time:   96 mins
Directed by: Kim Mourdant
Language: Lao (English subtitles)
Country: Australia, Laos
Classification:
Genre: Drama
Starring: Sitthiphon Disamoe,
Loungman Kaosainam,
Suthep Po-ngam
Awards: Best Original Screenplay Australian Academy Awards,
Australian Directors Guild Best Director
More info:

IMDb
Rotten Tomatoes
WFC Audience Score:  83%

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