Lost in Laos
Alessandro Zunino, Stefano Mosca
Daniela is a young, spoilt, emancipated Italian woman from a good family, who is in the
process of preparing her thesis about the Mockumentary genre.
Paolo, her partner and fellow faculty member, comes from a working-class, Italian background. They both have serious problems communicating with their parents. After looking at the website "Lost in Laos", and having an online chat with some American counterparts, they decide to take an alternative holiday to Vang Vieng, to raft, tube and party. However they don’t take into account the dangers of their inexperience with the surrounding land. After an impromptu rave at a bar on the river, followed by downhill tubing, the two miss their rendezvous with the local children who they were meant to meet at the height of Viang Vieng. Having also lost their backpacks, money, documents and mobiles, they begin to wander around a different Laos to the one they pictured. A beautiful, free, yet poor land flourishes under their feet.
Back in Italy, the parents become alarmed when they hear nothing from their children.
Meanwhile, Daniela and Paolo embark on a revelatory journey through monasteries, countryside and mountains, without ever touching a large inhabited centre. Eventually they arrive at a small village where they receive care, hospitality and friendship. They try more than once to return to their everyday life, looking for a "way home”, but for numerous, never random, reasons it doesn’t seem to happen. As the time passes, Daniela and Paolo are surprised to learn that perhaps home has been under their feet all along. This revelation not only impacts on them, but also their parents back in Italy, obsessed and frustrated, with no news of their children who have become Lost in Laos.