CROSS MY HEART (2017)
[LES ROIS MONGOLS]
Luc Picard's engaging family drama is set in Montreal in 1970 during a historical period known as the "October Crisis," as the radical left-wing nationalist group "Front de libération du Québec" (FLQ) has forced the province into a state of emergency with kidnappings, bombings and assassination. This means very little to 12-year-old Manon, though, because she is watching a more immediate crisis happening in her own family. With her father dying of cancer and her depressive mother unable to cope, Manon and her younger brother Michel are set to be sent to separate foster families. Manon, however, has sworn to her brother that she will never leave him alone. In desperation, she hatches a daring plan. Inspired by the political fervor in the city, she forms a "revolutionary" group of her own with her older cousins. They plot to kidnap their elderly neighbor and take off to a cabin the country. Struggling to manufacture a normal childhood in very abnormal circumstances, they spend the initial days enjoying their newfound freedom far from the influence of the grown-up world. Meanwhile, that adult world is actively on the hunt for them. Superbly crafted and very moving, the film was a hit at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival. (Note courtesy of Tom McSorley, Executive Director, Canadian Film Institute.) DIR/SCR Luc Picard; SCR Nicole Bélanger, from her novel; PROD Stéphanie Pages. Canada, 2017, color,102 min. NOT RATED
AFI Member passes accepted.
Luc Picard began his career as a theater actor in Montreal and became well known to television audiences for his starring role in the series OMERTÀ (1996). He began writing scripts and directing in 2004. His feature film debut L’AUDITION (2004), in which he also played the leading role, screened worldwide at festivals and won several awards. His films BABINE (2008), ÉSIMÉSAC (2012) and 9 LE FILM (2016) have also enjoyed international success.
"With deft direction for his young actors, a feel for gentle comedy and an almost-too-precise eye for period detailing, Picard polishes the film to a fine gleam, enhanced by the control of François Dutil's warm, chocolate, mustard and claret-colored images." – Variety