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Circumstances threaten to corrupt a beautiful and innocent girl in this allegorical romantic drama from Haitian filmmaker Richard Senecal. Jessica (Jessica Geneus) is a lovely young woman who is attending school under the watchful eye of her father. When her father unexpectedly dies, Jessica is left alone in the world, with no one to help her but her streetwise best friend Johanne (Soledad Elizabeth Jean). While there are plenty of men who would be more than willing to care for Jessica in exchange for her favors, the virtuous young girl is waiting for true love, and she thinks she may have found it in Bobby (Jerry Lentz Rocher), a boy from her school who is handsome and noble, though he lives in poverty. As Jessica and Johanne struggle to make their way through difficult times, the bereaved girl receives a proposal from a wealthy lecher (Roland Dorfeuille), who will give her $100,000 to sleep with him. As Jessica weighs love against money, a third option appears when a mysterious gentleman from out of town, Ralph Baptiste (Jimmy Jean-Louis), appears and makes his romantic intentions towards her clear. Cousines received its American debut at the 2006 Brooklyn Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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