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The Rocket (2013)

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Laos. In a land ravaged by war and exploitation, a boy whose family believe he is cursed must redeem himself by taking part in a dangerous rocket competition.


Kim Mordaunt


Kim Mordaunt
28 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Boonsri Yindee ... Taitok (as Bunsri Yindi)
Alice Keohavong ... Mali
Karen Karen ... Baby Ahlo
Sitthiphon Disamoe Sitthiphon Disamoe ... Ahlo
Chanthachone Latvongxay Chanthachone Latvongxay ... Market Fish Seller
Sumrit Warin Sumrit Warin ... Toma
Samnuan Sankote Samnuan Sankote ... Male Relocation Village Official
Jarunun Phantachat Jarunun Phantachat ... Female Relocation Village Official
Walter Van Veenendaal Walter Van Veenendaal ... Angeo Dam Official
Yuttana Muenwaja Yuttana Muenwaja ... Angry Mob Leader
Chaleam Ratchaborntong Chaleam Ratchaborntong ... Thin Man
Wattana Klumkrong Wattana Klumkrong ... Elderly Woman
Suthep Po-ngam Suthep Po-ngam ... Purple (as Thep Phongam)
Loungnam Kaosainam ... Kia
Sopheng Thammavong Sopheng Thammavong ... Market Flower Seller


A boy who is believed to bring bad luck to everyone around him leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity-filled journey through a land scarred by the legacy of war, to prove he's not bad luck he builds a giant rocket to enter the most exciting and dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival. Written by Red Lamp Films

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Did You Know?


The film was conceived by an Australian film crew making a 2007 documentary called Bomb Harvest about Australians helping clear unexploded bombs in Laos. This is explained in a 'Making of' documentary included with the DVD of this film. See more »


Pon vun teng
Performed by Khamsene Sychampanakhone
Written by Khamfong Xayamongkhoun
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User Reviews

A plot as imaginative as anything else out there.
29 January 2014 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

Tired of the Oscar race and its obviously-baiting nominees? The Rocket, set in Laos, is more unusual and imaginative than anything you will see, even Her, under the Oscar umbrella. Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), a surviving Laotian twin at birth and therefore potentially bad luck for his family, travels with his family and two friends to find a new home after being displaced by plans for another dam.

Not only is Ahlo played by a new young actor who keeps your sympathy, but also Kia (Loungnman Kaosainam), his girl friend (he can't be more than 10 and she about 9) is equally charming and intelligent. Their journey is plagued by setbacks, yet Ahlo remains intrepid and creative as he finally plans to nix this curse and become a hero.

So far the film is filled with bizarre adventures, mostly suggesting he is a curse on the family as bad luck plagues it (It's not Little Miss Sunshine's pleasant turbulence; however, Rocket's family is an eccentric crew). One of the most interesting fairs to be seen ever in film is the Rocket Contest, held each year to send missiles to the clouds to induce rain, to "poke the gods' arse," or something like that. This event is the Holy Grail of the family's journey, a way to gain prize money and to counter the bad karma of Ahlo's birth.

The natural performances of Beasts of the Southern Wild echo in The Rocket, both leads believable as intrepid young, underprivileged waifs of pluck and imagination. The relationship between Ahlo and his loving but too vulnerable father, Toma (Sumrit Warin) is reminiscent of father and son in Vittorio DeSica's Bicycle Thief. Caitlin Yeo's original score, never obtrusive, like the film itself, tells the story with dignity and respect for the characters.

Writer-director Kim Mordaunt has balanced the disparate elements perfectly. And best of all, it is not some exploitative tome about the emerging third world. It's about family! Its formulaic nature and slight drift to the sentimental do not keep it from being an original work of merit.

The Rocket, winner of the World Narrative prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, is one of the year's best movies with a plot as imaginative as anything else out there.

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Official Sites:

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Australia | Thailand | Laos



Release Date:

29 August 2013 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rocket See more »

Filming Locations:

Laos See more »


Box Office


AUD2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,621, 12 January 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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