The Rocket (2014)

Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Suthep Po-ngam
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A vivid fairytale about a ten-year-old Laotian boy whose family thinks he’s been cursed since birth. The Rocket is an unlikely heart warmer. Set in the country’s outback, the film follows ten-year-old Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe) in his quest to relocate his family, as the government starts to build a giant dam. In a final act of desperation he enters a Rocket Festival; the purpose of which is to beseech the sky gods for rain at the end of the dry season, a not insubstantial irony for a country sometimes described as the worlds most-bombed. Laos, despite its tragic war history, has a remarkable ability to keep moving forward, finding both spirit and humour in great adversity. “The Rocket” is rife with poetic passages, including glimpses of alternately damaged and varied landscapes. There is a continued astringent undercurrent about the endless battle between rural life and rapid industrialisation.