The Promise (La Promesse)
Drama | French with English subtitles | 90 minutes
AIgor, a teenager, works for his father, Roger in Belgium. They provide housing for illegal immigrants in dilapidated buildings in return for cheap labor. As they are refurbishing a building, Amidou, an African immigrant, falls off scaffolding and is seriously injured. Igor wants to rush him to the hospital, but Roger feels that since he’s illegal it will be risky. So, he lets Amidou die. Igor is bereft as he tries to comfort Amidou. Before Amidou dies, he implores Igor to take care of his wife, Assita, and their baby (the “Promise”). Igor now faces a struggle: his determination to keep his promise vs. the intense hatred of his father for the immigrants.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 95%
- Metacritic Score: 82
- Brussels International Film Festival: Winner, Best Foreign Film
- César Awards: Nominated, Best Foreign Film
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Best Foreign Film
- National Board of Review: Listed, Best Foreign Films
- National Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Foreign Language Film
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LA PROMESSE is a small masterpiece of moral courage. Shot and acted so naturally that it seems to be unfolding before our eyes, LA PROMESSE is one of the great films of the year: a moral drama of lacerating impact and overwhelming passion.
Almost everyone should be able to identify with the wrenching moral quandary facing Igor in the Dardenne’s casually devastating film LA PROMESSE.
I’ll never forget screaming at Igor to leave Roger during the climatic sequence in the Dardenne’s masterpiece LA PROMESSE. It was at that precise moment when I realized that the Dardenne Brothers are the modern masters of suspense.
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