Country: Australia / Laos / Thailand
Movie Review: Written and directed by Kim Mordaunt, “The Rocket” is a gentle Australian drama set in Laos, bringing us fresh adventure filled with rituals and traditions, perseverance, well-defined characters, and even supernatural connotations. In a full-moon night, Mali gives birth to twins, helped by her mother-in-law, Taitok. The first baby comes healthy but the second was born dead. An ancient village creed says that one of the twins is always cursed, bringing bad luck, while the other is blessed. Mother and granny decide to keep the baby alive, hiding the secret from everyone, with hope he can be the good one. Ahlo is his name, and at the age of ten, he shows to be very clever and full of life. One day, they are informed that a second dam is about to be constructed in the area, which will make the village disappear underwater. Relocated with promises of hot water and electricity, the family encounters a completely different reality, but will discover friendship, trust, self-respect, and an amazing Rocket Competition that can change their lives. The characters are stereotyped and the pace not always expeditious, but Mordaunt finds some balance through affectionate strokes, while the images with exotic landscapes in the background catch our eye. James Brown is joyfully revived with his funky tunes and through the character of uncle Purple, a semi-conscious traumatized of war. “The Rocket” was an award conqueror at Berlin and Tribeca film festivals.