The Rocket Review

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Guiding his family through a war-torn landscape, young Laotian boy Ahlo (Disamoe) yearns for a better life. A rocket-building competition may offer both money and a source of spiritual salvation.


An Australian production but a foreign-language debut feature made in Laos by writer-director Kim Mordaunt, this is a heartwarmer about a ‘cursed’ child, Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), who, after tragedy and disaster, leads his family to a new life. Villagers forced off their land trek across war-torn country in search of a new home, disgraced but spirited Ahlo adopting an orphan, Kia (Loungnam Kaosainam), and her eccentric uncle along the way and seeking to redeem himself in a lucrative, dangerous and symbolic rocket-launching contest. It’s a beautiful, engrossing odyssey and the children are captivating.

A stirring, lushly-constructed celebration of youthful spirit.