One of the best reviewed movies of 2013, The Rocket is a blazingly original drama about how a boy, a James Brown impersonator and a cylinder full of explosives can overcome any obstacles life puts in their way.
Growing up in rural Laos, Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe) is a mischievous ten-year-old who lives without a care in the world. After a family tragedy, his grandmother declares that Ahlo is cursed, and as they are forcibly moved from their land and fall deeper into poverty, he starts to believe it. Only the friendship of an orphaned girl and her eccentric James Brown–loving uncle restore joy in his life. Travelling with them on a perilous journey to a new home, they come across a local Rocket Festival. The builder of the most powerful projectile wins a lucrative prize – which would secure Ahlo's future and rid him of his curse.
The Rocket was selected for the Berlin International Film Festival 2013, where it won Best First Feature, the Crystal Bear for Best Feature in the Generation Kplus youth category and the Amnesty International Award. It also won Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor in a Narrative Feature (for ten-year-old Sitthiphon Disamoe) and the Audience Award at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
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