The Rocket

Synopsis & Film Details

Winner of the Audience Award and Best Narrative Feature honors at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, the Australian family drama “The Rocket” follows the journey of Ahlo, a 10-year-old Laotian boy who is believed to bring misfortune on his village, in a land scarred by war. His neighbors blame Ahlo for a series of disasters, and he begins a quest to prove that he is not cursed. After his family loses its home and is forced to move, Ahlo meets Kia, a spirited 9-year-old orphan, and her eccentric James Brown-loving uncle, Purple, during his travels in finding a new home. To refute his bad luck, Ahlo enters himself into a lucrative but dangerous competition known as the Rocket Festival, and he builds a giant rocket to compete. The Los Angeles Times says the movie “carries a touch of fable and a powerful sense of place in its melding of history’s dark undertow and a child’s optimism.” Featuring a stunning lead performance from former street kid Sitthiphon Disamoe, and co-starring veteran actor and comedian Thep Phongam. In Lao, with English subtitles.

Director: Kim Mordaunt
Australia/Laos/Thailand (2013) • 96 minutes • Not rated

With short film: Sinceridad
Director: Andrea Casaseca Ferrer • Spain • 2 minutes

In the dramatic comedy “Sinceridad,” David must confess the news to his parents after lunch. What is not yet known is the impact it will have on them.

With post-screening Discussion Circle
Join anthropologist and scholar Dr. Kao-Ly Yang to talk about the film. Yang has traveled extensively in Laos and she specializes in Southeast Asian Studies, especially in the Hmong ethnic group in Laos and Thailand and its diaspora in France and the United States. She teaches French and Hmong at both Fresno City College and at Fresno State. Moderated by Filmworks board member Mary Husain.