Art Works Blog

NEA Arts: The Lao Point of View

While many people have heard of the Vietnam Conflict, not as many may know that, as part of the hostilities, the U.S. bombed the neighboring country of Laos 24 hours a day for nine years. In the mid-2000s, New Zealand filmmaker Kim Mordaunt initially went to Laos to make a documentary about an Australian bomb disposal team working there. There were more stories to tell, however, and Mordaunt's newest film--The Rocket--is a fictional look at a young Laotian boy's quest to gain his family's esteem by winning a rocket-building contest. In the new issue of NEA Arts, we take a look at Mordaunt's work in Laos as well as his participation in Film Forward, a joint project of the U.S. cultural agencies to bring films made in the U.S. and abroad to new communities across the country and around the world. Below is an excerpt from "The Lao Point of View: Making Connections through Film Forward," in which Mordaunt discusses the weight of his responsibility to get the story right. Click through to read the entire article and browse the other articles in this international arts-focused issue.

“We definitely felt a huge responsibility,” said [Kim] Mordaunt. “I kept rewriting the script. Every time I showed it to the cast, or to a consultant in the region, or anyone in the region, if anything came up that we thought wasn’t accurate, I would rewrite. It was a long period of consultation and rewriting and rewriting until we felt like we’d got something that was accurate but cinematic and hopefully would entice an audience into this place they’d never been.”

“We definitely felt a huge responsibility,” said Mordaunt. “I kept
rewriting the script. Every time I showed it to the cast, or to a
consultant in the region, or anyone in the region, if anything came up
that we thought wasn’t accurate, I would rewrite. It was a long period
of consultation and rewriting and rewriting until we felt like we’d got
something that was accurate but cinematic and hopefully would entice an
audience into this place they’d never been.” - See more at:
http://arts.gov/NEARTS/2014v1-opening-world-international-art/laos-film-...
“We definitely felt a huge responsibility,” said Mordaunt. “I kept
rewriting the script. Every time I showed it to the cast, or to a
consultant in the region, or anyone in the region, if anything came up
that we thought wasn’t accurate, I would rewrite. It was a long period
of consultation and rewriting and rewriting until we felt like we’d got
something that was accurate but cinematic and hopefully would entice an
audience into this place they’d never been.” - See more at:
http://arts.gov/NEARTS/2014v1-opening-world-international-art/laos-film-...
“We definitely felt a huge responsibility,” said Mordaunt. “I kept
rewriting the script. Every time I showed it to the cast, or to a
consultant in the region, or anyone in the region, if anything came up
that we thought wasn’t accurate, I would rewrite. It was a long period
of consultation and rewriting and rewriting until we felt like we’d got
something that was accurate but cinematic and hopefully would entice an
audience into this place they’d never been.” - See more at:
http://arts.gov/NEARTS/2014v1-opening-world-international-art/laos-film-...

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