Film Festival Review: The Rocket
Directed by Kim Mordaunt
Kim Mordaunt is an Australian film-maker whose work includes a documentary set in Laos about children who make a living selling unexploded shells for scrap metal. He mines the same material for his excellent feature debut The Rocket, with a tale about Ahlo, whose twin dies at birth.
Ahlo grows into a plucky, independent-minded 10-year-old but with a secret: Laotians believe one twin brings good luck, the other bad, and when tragedy strikes the family, the grandmother exposes Ahlo’s secret and he is exiled.
Ahlo is drawn to nine-year- old Kia and her dissolute, drunken “uncle Purple”, a James Brown impersonator who helped us soldiers during the Vietnam War and one who knows enough about explosives to fuel Ahlo’s dream of winning a rocket-building competition to win back his family’s respect. Mordaunt has created a small but heart-warming story that deserves a wide audience.
Director Kim Mordaunt will be appearing at Q&A sessions today at 6.15pm, and tomorrow 1.45pm, The Civic.