Ahlo is an only twin (as Peter Cook would have it), his sibling having been stillborn. In Laos, twins are considered bad luck, so his mother and his old bat of a grandmother covered up that fact.
When Ahlo’s village is forced to relocate to make way for a new dam, that and subsequent events seem to confirm his bad-luck status. Their new village is still a building site. Then Ahlo falls foul of the existing residents and his family is chased out.
Ahlo decides that he must prove the omens wrong and make amends by winning the top prize at the spectacular – but potentially lethal – Rocket Festival for home-made projectiles.
Some funny moments and two lovely child actors are the highlights of this quite sweet film. Its plot is unambitious, but it offers a rare glimpse into life in a country still scarred by the war. 7/10
Released August 29, 2013.