19 December 2013 1:01 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Kim Mordaunt's The Rocket is about a child’s at-times comic battle against the insanity of the post-war culture in Laos. In a country riddled with governmental corruption and inefficiency; in one spattered with the remnants of still-live bombs and other remnants of a lengthy, brutalizing bloodshed; and in one populated by impoverished communities often without such basic necessities as electricity and plumbing, the odds seem stacked against ten-year-old Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe) achieving any lasting happiness in this lifetime.

But matters get worse. He was born a twin, and in his society, all twins are immediately slaughtered because one is blessed and the other cursed, and it's impossible to tell which one has the devil within him. Luckily for Ahlo, his sibling was a stillborn, who’s secretly buried, so no one knows he was a twin except his loving mother Mali (Alice Keohavong) and his bellyaching grandmother who wishes he had never survived. »

- Brandon Judell

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