This work of historical fiction deals with the occupation of Quebec by the Canadian Army and the massive imprisonment of French-speaking Canadian artists and trade unionists, based on the pretext of two political kidnappings.
In October 1970, 21 days was the legal limit, under the War Measures Act, during which the Canadian government could hold prisoners incommunicado without charging them or justifying their arrest. Gaetan is 16. He has quit school, works in a factory in Montreal’s Saint-Henri district, and finds himself embroiled in a political conflict. His good friend is arrested for taking part in a union meeting, his father, for speaking out too loudly about city elections held during the crisis. By chance, Gaetan meets Louise, a young college student who, although she is from a different background and is involved with radical friends, takes a keen interest in him. In this troubled period of Quebec’s and Canada’s history, young people are confronted with unrelenting factory work, unemployment, harsh police and military action, and imprisonment, but also, hope, political commitment and first love.