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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 Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Although they live only 20 minutes apart, these children exist in completely separate worlds, divided by physical, historical, and emotional boundaries. PROMISES explores the nature of these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who dared to cross the lines to meet their neighbors. The children of PROMISES offer refreshing, personal and sometimes humorous insight into the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. With remarkable balance and a compelling blend of pathos and humor, this Oscar-nominated, Emmy Award winning film moves the conflict out of politics and into the realm of the human. A Film By BZ Goldberg, Justine Shapiro, and Carlos Bolado. 102 minutes. In Arabic, Hebrew, and English with English subtitles. THIS DVD IS FOR HOME USE ONLY. Educators, community groups, and others seeking to screen the film publicly must contact the filmmakers to discuss purchasing public performance rights.
presents a powerful portrait of seven Palestinian and Israeli children who live in and around Jerusalem. As filmmaker B.Z. Goldberg, who was raised in Israel, notes, "They live no more than 20 minutes from each other, but they are each growing up in very separate worlds." The children include Mahmoud, Shlomo, Sanabel, Faraj, Moishe, and twins Yarko and Daniel. With the exception of the latter, all are religious (the twins are the grandchildren of a Holocaust survivor). Most have strong political beliefs and have seen their share of tragedy--Faraj's friend was killed in front of him--but as the film makes clear, they're also kids. They like to watch TV, hold burping contests, and compete in sports (Faraj is a runner, Yarko and Daniel play volleyball). Promises
doesn't attempt to explain them, but lets the kids speak for themselves. The results are funny, sad, and ultimately quite profound. --Kathleen C. Fennessy