Based on a true story, the film follows a French NGO that goes into Chad to set up a camp that will house, medicate and educate orphans under the age of six. Operating under the conceit that the children will grow and re-enter society after 18 years, they actually hope to take the children to France after several months to be adopted by willing French families.
Intimate and bare, The White Knights alludes to the potential clashes of altruism and self-righteousness present in the work of this charity, but director Joachim Lafosse refrains from hyperbolizing the issue, leaving space for any critical conversations that may emerge. However, that space is ultimately what the film amounts to, as it refrains from citing the broader implications of the actions and ideologies we are exposed to.
Lafosse is neither indicative nor apoplectic, instead allowing the events to unfold without providing an incisive critique. That said, the film offers grounded performances from Vincent Lindon and newcomer Bintou Rimtobaye, and retains a tension that continues to build until the conclusion.