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Directed by: Kim Mordaunt 2013 | 96 min.

Section: Southeast Asian Showcase

Premiere: Hawaii

Film Website


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


Friday, October 11 6:30 PM Consolidated Koko Marina Date Passed
Friday, October 18 6:30 PM Dole Cannery B Date Passed
Sunday, October 20 11:00 AM Dole Cannery H Date Passed
Saturday, October 26 2:00 PM Hilo Palace Theater Date Passed
Sunday, October 27 4:00 PM Kauai - Waimea Theater Date Passed

Cast & Crew

Director Kim Mordaunt
Screenwriter Kim Mordaunt
Producer Sylvia Wilczynski
Cast Sitthiphon (Ki) Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Suthep Phongam, Alice Keohavong, Boonsri Yindi
Cinematographer Andrew Commis
Editor Nick Meyers

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