The Rocket

The Rocket

The Rocket

Set in the remote countryside of Laos, Southeast Asia, this Berlin Film Festival-winning journey follows Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), a 10-year-old boy who is a supposed bringer of bad luck. To prove that isn't the case, Ahlo has a fool-proof plan - build a giant explosive rocket to win the annual Rocket Festival. This is the debut narrative feature from Australian documentarian Kim Mordaunt.

When a run of disasters forces Ahlo's family to move, the finger of blame is pointed towards him. Struggling to hang on to his father’s trust, Ahlo leads his family, his James Brown-worshipping uncle Purple, and spirited orphan Kia through a land scarred by war in search of a new home. In a last plea to try and prove he’s not cursed, Ahlo builds a giant rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival. As the most bombed country in the world shoots back at the sky, Ahlo reaches to the heavens for forgiveness.

Winner of Amnesty International Film Prize, Best Debut Film and Crystal Bear award at Berlin International Film Festival 2013.
2013Rating: M, Mature themes and nudity96 minsAustraliaLao with English subtitles
DramaWorld Cinema

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Reviews & comments

Flicks, Liam Maguren

Flicks, Liam Maguren

flicks

Having examined the bomb-riddled country of Laos in his 2007 documentary Bomb Harvest, Australian filmmaker Kim Mordaunt delivers this tale that charms without over-indulging, educates without lecturing and captivates without capsizing. The narrative feature is a first for both Mordaunt’s filmography and the country’s catalogue of internationally-released titles and it’s difficult to imagine a debut being stronger.

4.0

what movies should be like more often

got to check it out, wonderful movie

5.0
Variety

Variety

press

Australian documentarian Kim Mordaunt’s impressive narrative debut... A kid-centric slice of intractable humanism in the mode of The Kite Runner, Tsotsi, Whale Rider or Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Time Out

Time Out

press

Light on well-drawn characters, but its performances, especially from the nonprofessional junior members, more than light the fuse for the finale.

3.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A pretty, somewhat sleepy and finally strange once-upon-a-time tale.

The Age

The Age

press

A thoughtful, smart rites-of-passage adventure shot in our own backyard. Highly recommended.

4.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Formulaic but likeable... Young actor Sitthiphon Disamoe helps keep the tale of a can-do kid from becoming too cute.

Flicks, Liam Maguren

Flicks, Liam Maguren

flicks

Having examined the bomb-riddled country of Laos in his 2007 documentary Bomb Harvest, Australian filmmaker Kim Mordaunt delivers this tale that charms without over-indulging, educates without lecturing and captivates without capsizing. The narrative feature is a first for both Mordaunt’s filmography and the country’s catalogue of internationally-released titles and it’s difficult to imagine a debut being stronger.

4.0
Variety

Variety

press

Australian documentarian Kim Mordaunt’s impressive narrative debut... A kid-centric slice of intractable humanism in the mode of The Kite Runner, Tsotsi, Whale Rider or Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Time Out

Time Out

press

Light on well-drawn characters, but its performances, especially from the nonprofessional junior members, more than light the fuse for the finale.

3.0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

A pretty, somewhat sleepy and finally strange once-upon-a-time tale.

The Age

The Age

press

A thoughtful, smart rites-of-passage adventure shot in our own backyard. Highly recommended.

4.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Formulaic but likeable... Young actor Sitthiphon Disamoe helps keep the tale of a can-do kid from becoming too cute.

what movies should be like more often

got to check it out, wonderful movie

5.0