Winner of both the Best First Feature award at Berlinale and Best Narrative Feature at Tribeca, THE ROCKET is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale set entirely in Laos. Kim Mordaunt, who made the excellent documentary BOMB HARVEST, which was also set in Laos, is clearly invested in the people and culture of the region, and tells this story with great empathy and authenticity.
Ahlo is the surviving twin of a difficult birth and is believed by some to be a source of bad luck. When 10-year-old Ahlo and his family are displaced by the construction of a dam, further tragedy strikes as they relocate. Upon reaching the relocation village, Ahlo befriends young Kia and her eccentric uncle Purple, but is still ostracised by the superstitious community, and even treated with suspicion by his own family. Ahlo decides that his only hope of redemption is the Rocket Festival: a riotous, and dangerous, annual competition where huge bamboo rockets are set off to provoke the rain gods. Despite being too young to enter the competition, Ahlo is determined to succeed.
Set amidst a beautiful landscape, and with lovely performances by the young actors, THE ROCKET is a sensitive and uplifting film.
Synopsis written by: Sydney Film Festival