Just how badly things can go wrong when a charity loses sight of its ethical rules is made painfully clear in Les Chevaliers Blancs. The exciting drama is based on the true story of the French humanitarian organisation that took ‘orphans’ from Chad in 2007 to give to French adoptive parents.
Jacques Arnault, head of Move for Kids, is preparing a humanitarian lightning strike: he wants to evacuate three hundred ‘orphans’ who are victims of the civil war. A charter plane will take them to France, where adoptive parents, so keen they have financed this operation, await them. Together with a group of volunteers, Jacques pitches his NGO into a hazardous adventure with a thrilling conclusion.
Initially, the film seems to be a heroic tale about a group of selfless volunteers. The truth is more complex, involving negotiations with various tribal chiefs to arrange financial compensation for supplying enough young children. Next thing, a number of parents want to give away their own children in the hope they will be offered a better future. It is highly debatable whether these children themselves want to be ‘rescued’. It is clever of Lafosse to let events unfold slowly, without passing an opinion. This is left to the audience to do.