La Promesse (The Promise)

1996

La Promesse (The Promise)

Critics Consensus

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95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,574
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Movie Info

A young man born into criminal circumstances is forced to deal with his conscience in this drama from Belgium. Roger (Olivier Gourmet) is a corrupt businessman who smuggles illegal aliens into Antwerp and protects them from the law in exchange for working with his construction company. However, Roger pays meager wages for back-breaking labor and charges aliens appallingly high rent for substandard housing. Roger has a 15-year-old son, Igor (Jeremie Renier), who has learned from his father to steal and twist the truth; Igor is loyal to Roger, despite his father's frequent violence against him. One day, Amidou (Rasmane Ouedraogo), one of the illegals working for Roger, falls from a construction site; as he is dying, Amidou begs Igor to watch over his wife Assita (Assita Ouedraogo) and their child. While Roger and his partners try to keep the death a secret to avoid police interference, Igor constructs an elaborate web of lies to ease the concerns of Assita, who does not know that her husband has passed. Before long, Igor's loyalties are torn between his concern for his father's safety and his guilty affection for Assita. La Promesse was voted the Best Foreign Language Film of 1997 by America's National Society of Film Critics. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Frédéric Bodson
as Garage Owner
Jose Dumst
as Seydou
Rifi Kythouka
as The Fortune-teller
Ljubomir Jakic
as Immigrant Interpreter
Caslav Jestratijevic
as Yugoslav Immigrant
Darko Pulic
as Yugoslav Immigrant
Zoran Klacar
as Yugoslav Immigrant
Miroslav Dmitrovic
as Yugoslav Immigrant
Thomas Golla
as Kurdish Immigrant
Abdel Bakouche
as Young Arab
Rabah Amrani
as Ibrahim
Ioan Taranu
as Nicolai
Dieudonne Kapeta
as African Immigrant
Florin Badea
as Rumanian Immigrant
Bogdan Motet
as Rumanian Immigrant
Marian Moldovan
as Rumanian Immigrant
Valeriu Massalar
as Rumanian Immigrant
Bernard Marbaix
as Work Inspector
Jean-Michel Balthazar
as Work Inspector
Nevfel Morsimen
as Mehmet's Brother
Jeanine Robiane
as Garage Customer
David Echterhoff
as Asian Immigrant
Suzanne Colin
as Policewoman
Cathy Galetic
as Hospital Employee
Daniel Hicter
as Pedestrian
Jean-Pol Bissieux
as Train Station Employee
Willy Moosen
as Night Shop Salesperson
Emmanuelle Bonmariage
as Luna Park Cashier
Philippe Constant
as Young Unemployed Man
Pierre Dineur
as Young Arab's Client
Sandhu Onkar Singh
as Sikh Immigrant
Dominique Hennico
as Hospital Nurse
Henri Wierts
as Hospital Doctor
Léon Michaux
as Policeman
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News & Interviews for La Promesse (The Promise)

Critic Reviews for La Promesse (The Promise)

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for La Promesse (The Promise)

  • Feb 24, 2012
    Wow! Another great film from the Dardenne. I truly believe that they are incapable of making anything less than a gripping tale.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2010
    A grim but hopeful film that shows us the birth of a consciousness.
    Robert F Super Reviewer
  • Aug 31, 2009
    This is my favorite Dardenne film. Raw and subtly-charged with emotional and moral dilemma, La Promesse shows how difficult social struggle doesn't eradicate goodness in humanity.
    Bert R Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2007
    The Dardenne brothers' first masterpiece. Raw, intense and socially relevant, just like everything they would do later on their careers. An experience recommendable to anyone who believes in films that plumb the murkiest depths of the human condition.
    Pedro P Super Reviewer

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