The Rocket

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The Rocket Film still
Australia, Laos 2013 Rated G 96:00 Lao with English subtitles Toronto Premiere

The Rocket is an internationally acclaimed story about a spirited boy’s quest to break free from his ill-fated destiny. Performed by mostly nonprofessional actors, it is one of the first internationally released feature films from the seldom-seen country of Laos.

When his family is forced to leave their village to make way for a massive water dam, Ahlo is blamed for a string of disasters. Along with his father and grandmother, he must escape through a land scarred by war in search of a new home.

A rocket festival offers a lucrative—but dangerous—chance to earn a new beginning. With the help of his new friends, an orphan named Kia and her James Brown-loving uncle, he sets out to prove his worth to his family.

Including material filmed at a real rocket festival in Laos, the filmmaker based scenes and characters on real encounters; resulting in a well-observed and humanistic drama about resilience and perseverance in the face of painful hardships and social inequity.

– HK