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Film / The Crusade

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La Croisade (The Crusade in English) is a 2021 French film directed by, written by and starring Louis Garrel. It also stars Laetitia Casta and Joseph Engel.

After Joseph comes back from school, he tells his parents about how he's planning a special project with friends. He reveals that he has sold a lot of valuable objects in the house because the project actually concerns a lot of children across the world and has a precise objective: raising lakes in the Sahara in order to save the planet.

No relation to the medieval military campaigns that bear the same name.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: The group of children doesn't trust adults since they believe that they don't care about the world's ecological future. They think about kicking out Joseph off the project since he brought his parents to the secret camp before it got raided by the police.
  • All Just a Dream: Partially from Abel's perspective. He dreams that pollution has become strong enough to the point that the air has become barely breathable and cars need to be shut down for an hour. Children are also advocating for the death of 3 billion parents in order for planet Earth to be saved. Before Abel wakes up in a bar, he gets shot down by children, including his own son Joseph.
  • Dedication: The film is dedicated to Jean-Claude Carrière who co-wrote the film and died prior to its release.
  • Dying Dream: Abel and Alexandra get shot down by Joseph before Abel wakes up from what he dreamt as a bleak vision of planet Earth.
  • Eco-Terrorist: The children have a plan to save the Earth by killing half of the adults living on it. Joseph's parents later get shot down by Joseph before all this plan turns out to be a dream Abel had.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Downplayed since the children are only worried about what their planet could become in the upcoming years. However, Abel dreams that the air on planet Earth becomes barely breathable and that the children want to eradicate half of the adults as a way to preserve the world's future.
  • Face on the Cover
  • Green Aesop: Sort of subverted. Louis Garrel didn't have the intention to make a film which advocates for ecology, thinking that any film with a political message is too linear. In the film's story, however, the children manage to raise lakes in central Africa, leaving us with a hopeful note Earth's future. Garrel also endorsed a project such as moving the sea into the Sahara.
  • Home Base: The children have a secret camp located in a forest. They built a large map of Africa where they assigned where they would raise up water.
  • Kill All Humans: Downplayed with the children who want to kill half of the adults on Earth in order for planet Earth to be saved. It turns out it was part of a dream Abel had.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Subverted. A scene shows Joseph talking about his sex life with another child while vaping. It turns out it was part of a dream Abel had.
  • Pædo Hunt: Joseph's parents are mistaken as such when the police raids the children's secret camp.