The Crossing Of the Lighthouse (1999)





Still troubled and grieving the death of his mother, 10-year-old Eric (Jim Redler) finds himself in yet another foster home and in a new school, now in the coastal city of Royan, France. At school he meets an effeminate boy named Yann, obviously an outcast among the students, much as he expects himself to be. Yann tells Eric that he knows a secret way to walk out to the lighthouse during low tide, and while they are struggling through the tides to get to that part of the beach, Eric discovers Yann''s secret: Yann is a girl. Her real name is Marie (Kathy Loisel), and like Eric, she is an orphan still grieving the loss of a beloved parent — her father, a sailor who was lost in a storm. As they continue to walk out to the lighthouse, they are rescued from the rising tides by Pierre, the rugged lighthouse keeper. When Pierre returns the children to the port, he is reunited with an old flame: Marie''s aunt Corrine (Corinne Touzet), who manages the local zoo. Though she is unmarried, Corrine has been trying to get full custody of Marie, but authorities think Marie''s behavioral problems and insistence on dressing and acting like a boy are signs that Corrinne would not be a suitable parent. When the authorities hear of the incident with the lighthouse, they insist that Marie go to an all-girls'' school. When Eric fights some boys who pull Marie''s clothes off to settle a bet about her gender, the police are called and Eric and Marie try to run away together. Even after they are caught they are determined to be together. Thierry Redler, who plays Pierre, wrote the script and directed his son in the lead. He also wrote and directed the sequel, Les inséparables.