Is Laotian boy Ahlo Isitthiphon Disamoe) cursed? His family reckon so after being forcibly relocated by multinational developers building a dam. Ahlo’s defiant response: to build a rocket for a lucrative but lethal competition.
This strikingly original feelgood fable is artfully balanced between director Kim Mordaunt’s roots in documentary and a spellbinding magic realism.
Set amid a ghostly landscape of unexploded American bombs, The Rocket draws parallels between Laos’ troubled past and uncertain future.
Yet politics come second to a warm, evocative portrait of the country’s people (10-year-old former street kid Disamoe is outstanding) and culture (the mind-boggling real-life Rocket Festival).