The Rocket (Laos/Australia)April 30, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Center for Korean Studies, 1881 East-West Road
Laos/Thailand/Australia (2013, 96 min)
Lao w/English subtitles
Director: Kim Mordaunt
Screenplay: Kim Mordaunt, Miro Bilbrough (script editor)
Cinematography: Andrew Commis
Costume: Woranun Pueakpan
Cast: Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Suthep Po-ngam, Boonsri Yindee, Sumrit Warin, Alice Keohavong
A special pleasure of moviegoing is sitting down with low expectations and coming out with surprised delight. "The Rocket" will do that for you. It's a small film, set in Laos, with a big theme—changing one's destiny. The hero, 10-year-old Ahlo, carries a curse almost from birth. He's supposed to be bad luck, and he does have a gift for creating chaos wherever he goes.
"The Rocket" is ultimately a canny piece of entertainment in which Ahlo gets a chance to redeem himself, and save his family, at a local rocket festival. Yes, such things do exist in Laos. They're county fairs of a sort, competitions that ring changes on the nation's history by firing rockets back at the sky that once rained bombs, awarding prizes for the missile that flies highest. Watching Ahlo mix his explosives is like watching a Cordon Bleu chef whipping up a stupendous soufflé.
-Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
Free and Open to the Public
Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Mānoa Campus