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  • The short idea: the big bad Westerner and the smart young communists. The children might barely be able to read because of the lack of teaching personnel at school in a remote area. But they are surely well permeated by the marxist-leninist morals. The children can't read the latest discourse of Nicolae Ceaușescu, but they do know they have to stop the evil foreigner steal the goods of the People.

    Back in the 1970s it was the evil counter revolutionary. In the 1930s the same man would have been the evil Jew. In the 1990s the evil person is either a mason or is part of a conspiracy that must involve Israel.

    Finally, the end justifies the means. In real life even older teens were abused by family and neighbors if they come home early. In the movie, prepubescent boys can stay up no matter how late and nobody would notice their absence. And, because communist Romania was a Christian orthodox country above all, the adventurers must be male. The audience can tolerate boys at night in the wilderness, but a girl's place is at home learning how to cook, and whatever is needed by a semi-illiterate homemaker.

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