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Montreal, October 1970. Twelve-year-old Manon's family is on the verge of collapse; she and her little brother Mimi are about to be placed in Foster Care. Manon is incensed. Inspired by the current political crisis, she comes up with a plan and takes an old woman hostage to demand the right to choose her own future. With the help of her two cousins Martin and Denis, they leave the city with Mimi and the old woman, determined to find refuge where they can all be happy and free. Gripping, tender and moving, Cross My Heart is a vibrant story portraying the weaknesses and betrayals of adulthood as seen through the eyes of children.
Kids try to avoid foster home by taking lead from terrorists
Les Rois Mongols (Cross My Heart) is a French language film from Quebec. It's set in 1970s Quebec, and assumes the viewers know some things about Quebec history. Namely, it assumes the viewer knows that there was a time when separatists (Quebecois that wanted to separate from Canada) formed an organization which committed terrorist acts.
Manon and Mimi are two children (approx. 12 and 7) whose father is dying, and whose mother can't afford to support them on her own. With fear of being put into a foster home, and fear of being separated, Manon devises a scheme similar to what she's seen on the news. She's going to kidnap somebody to be their hostage until the family can stay together.
Where the movie shines is in its depiction of family life. The connection between the children and their cousins is felt, and well acted and written. What falls apart is the kidnapping situation. Obviously children kidnapping a senior is absurd, but it can be looked past. Where it gets more absurd is in the Stockholm syndrome displayed. It's hard to believe that the older woman kidnapped would go along with the plan, yet she does.
That doesn't mean the whole movie is a mess, but it does bring down the second half. If looking past that plot point, there's a solid movie to be seen.
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