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A boy (Ahlo, 10), who is believed to bring bad luck, is blamed for a string of disasters. When his family loses their home and are forced to move, Ahlo meets the spirited orphan Kia (9) and her eccentric uncle Purple: an ex-soldier with a purple suit, a rice-wine habit and a fetish for James Brown. Struggling to hang on to his father's trust, Ahlo leads his family, Purple and Kia through a land scarred by war in search of a new home.

In a last plea to prove he's not cursed, Ahlo builds a giant explosive rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival. As the most bombed country in the world shoots back at the sky, a boy will reach to the heavens for forgiveness. Gripping yet heart-warming, The Rocket is a deeply personal story about the determination of a boy who has the odds stacked against him, set against the epic backdrop of a war-ravaged country on the brink of huge change.

With remarkable access to real rituals and festivities in the mountains of Laos, the film is a unique view into a world never seen on film before. Featuring an extraordinary leading performance from gutsy former street kid Sitthiphon Disamoe as Ahlo, the film also stars veteran actor and comedian Thep Phongam as a damaged but humorous ex-soldier who becomes a mentor to our young protagonist.

Berlin International Film Festival 2013 (Winner: Best First Feature)
Tribeca Film Festival 2013 (Winner: Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor, Audience Award)
AFI Fest (Winner: Audience Award for World Cinema)

“An impressive narrative debut… in the mode of Whale Rider or Beasts of the Southern Wild.” —Ronnie Scheib, Variety

“If you aren’t moved by The Rocket, your heart is defective.” —Jordan Hoffman, Film.com

“Gripping and enthralling.” —Rodrigo Perez, Indiewire