Promises

"Excellent"

Promises Review


In the thought-provoking Promises, a stirring documentary about the lives of seven Palestinian and Israeli children in the midst of their war-torn environment, filmmakers B.Z. Goldberg and the husband-wife tandem of Justine Shapiro and Carlos Bolado provide a child's account of the atrocities that invade their innocent, youthful lives. This is a raw and disturbing tale that took five years to make, and the trio's absorbing narrative is a heart-wrenching showcase indeed.

What is so remarkable and unsettling about the Goldberg-Shapiro-Bolado project is that the audience gains a unique perspective regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, and their never-ending war over the West Bank. We know the bitter fighting is a way of life for adults but to view how this impacts the children from both sides adds a whole new psychological spin. For example, we come across wide-eyed brothers Yarko and Faraj, who casually mention how they try to decide which bus to ride to school for fear that if they get on the wrong one, their lives may be ended.

If anything can be said about the staunch grittiness of Promises, it's the unflinching impartiality of the politics involved. The filmmakers (of Jewish ethnicity) aren't so much interested in siding with any particular Israeli or Palestinian agenda--just the agenda of finding out how much this daily drama affects the lives of young bystanders. Promises, sad to say, is one of those in-your-face, reality-driven stories containing no instant solutions or happy endings.

Shadows on the wall.



Promises

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 20th December 2001

Distributed by: Cowboy Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 45 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro, Carlos Bolardo

Producer: Justine Shapiro

Starring: Moishe Bar Am as Himself, B.Z. Goldberg as Himself, Sanabel Hassan as Herself

Also starring:

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