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Promises
Promises
Actor: B.Z. Goldberg
Directors: B.Z. Goldberg, Carlos Bolado, Justine Shapiro
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
NR     2004     1hr 46min

A beautiful and deeply moving portrait of seven Palestinian and Israeli children, PROMISES (2001) follows the journey of a filmmaker who meets these children in and around Jerusalem, from a Palestinian refugee camp to an I...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actor: B.Z. Goldberg
Directors: B.Z. Goldberg, Carlos Bolado, Justine Shapiro
Creators: Ilan Buchbinder, Yoram Millo
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/16/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Promises Delivers Hope
BlaskoFilms | Coon Rapids, MN United States | 12/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you believe in your heart that, despite every hurdle, peace is possible between the Israelis and Palestinians, this film will fill you with hope and wonder. That's not to say it's rosy - the children depicted in the film often exhibit anger and intolerance, but the mere act of recognition between the children of these two warring groups is enough to inspire faith in their futures. This film is a beautiful document of a precious, brave and tenuous experiment on the part of the filmmakers. May we all have the courage to try to guide the next generation into a more peaceful, more understanding world.

If 50 stars were possible, this film would have earned every one. Find ways to share the message with those you know, and those you don't. We must come together, and assist our Jewish and Arab brothers and sisters, however possible!"
Outstanding Introduction to A Complex Topic
M. Higgins | DEAVER, WY USA | 12/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just want to add my voice to the other reviewers who praise Promises. Their descriptions will give you a good idea about the films contents so I'll just say, this is a very moving and informative film. Most of my reviews are from the stand-point of a middle school teacher looking for materials to use in my class. This film is outstanding! It's the type of lesson you'll be excited to teach. If you are looking for something to use to explore and learn about Israel and Palestinian relations buy this DVD. I thought the length of the DVD would lose my students. I was wrong-- they stayed engaged through the whole film (about 3 class periods)."
A profound documentary that shows us just how much children
M. Lazerow | 11/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm Jewish, and I just don't get what the two reviewers who maintain the film is slanted against Jews or Israel are talking about. I saw it at our synagogue one night, and I fail to see what they claim. "Promises" is not anti-Jewish nor pro-Palestinian: it is pro-humanity! It shows just how prejudiced both communities are, and how the poison of hate filters down to the children. If it is 'anti' anything, it is anti- hate, anti- bigotry, and pro- know-your-neighbor-as-yourself. There are several deeply profound moments in the film that can just blow you away (if your heart is open to it). The film demonstrates to the viewer the healing power of listening and being heard, and the wonderful natural ability of children to quickly 'see outside of the box', or in this case, see each other beyond what they've been taught: that the other is an 'enemy' to be distrusted. Instead, they readily can see that, in fact, they are much alike. They love the things that all children love. And, in the alchemy of one special moment, they have the vision (that most adults woefully lack) to imagine a life where they could live together, and even enjoy each other! Like one of the other reviewers, if there were more stars to give this film, I would not limit it to 5 stars. I wish all Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs, would see this wonderful film. There is such wisdom in these children that adults need to hear."
Touching and insightful documentary!
P gem | NJ, USA | 11/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just recently saw this documentary for the second time in its recently released DVD version. The Israeli and Palestinian children in Jerusalem and the West Bank that BZ Goldberg interviews, and whose lives we are given a glimpse into, are incredibly outspoken, articulate, often brutally honest and heartbreaking. From the Israeli boy who lives in a settlement in the West Bank, to the blue-eyed Palestinian boy in east Jerusalem, we hear about their daily realities, their fears, their studies and interests, and most telling of course, their opinions on the seemingly interminable conflict that they have known about and lived through their entire lives. The filmaker's and the movie's intent to focus on the children of the conflict does not simply pursue a cliched view that "if only children had their way, peace could be achieved." Rather, the children express a full range of emotions, beliefs and ideologies (some of which evolve and change during different points in the film) towards the situation and their perceptions of "the other"... from curiosity, to indifference, to hope for reconciliation, to anger and resentment. Such emotions and ideologies reflect the plurality of beliefs that exist among Israeli and Palestinian populations as a whole, in large part of course, because of the way in which different parents, leaders, teachers, media sources etc. help to pass down certain values and ways of understanding the situation to the next generation.

The most touching part of the documentary is an impromptu meeting that happens between some Palestinian kids in a West Bank refugee camp and Israeli twins from Jerusalem. Watch this documentary, if just for the scenes that unfold during this emotional, enlightening (for the kids and for us, the viewers) humorous, and bittersweet event (though I think you'll find the entire documentary to be just as great)!

This newly released DVD also includes updates on all of the main children (now teenagers), in which most of them spoke again during the summer of 2004 about where their lives have taken them since. Some of the stories of what their lives have been like over the past 4 years, and how they have changed since the first filmings will be surprising, encouraging and perhaps sad. Whether you don't know much about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or are already very interested in it, I would recommend this documentary to you. These kids are wise beyond their years, and some have experienced more hardship than most of us will know. You'll learn from them, and most importantly, understand more about where they're coming from.

Maybe the best sign of how good a movie/documentary is, is whether or not the "characters" and "plot" stick with you after you've seen it. And the stories and personalities of these children have done exactly that with me-- and will for a long time to come!"