Promises (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Promises (2002)



Critic Consensus: A heartbreaking and illuminating look at the Israeli and Palestinian conflict through the eyes of children.

Movie Info

Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. The three filmmakers followed a group of seven local children between 1995 and 1998. They all have a totally different background. These seven children tell their own story about growing up in Jerusalem. Through this portrait of their generation, we see how deep rooted and almost insoluble the problems of the Middle East have become. While the children only live 20 minutes away from each other, they live in completely different worlds and know hardly anything about each other. Their picture of the world is formed by the adults around them and the circumstances in which they live. As a result, the older they get, the bigger the physical, historical and emotional gap between them grows. When the protagonists speak out in an epilogue a couple of years later, it becomes apparent that all have lost their childlike innocence.
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Promises

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (18)

Too sincere to exploit its subjects and too honest to manipulate its audience.

Full Review… | December 9, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A gripping documentary that reveals how deep the antagonism lies in war-torn Jerusalem.

Full Review… | November 15, 2002
Miami Herald
Top Critic

What's so extraordinary about this Oscar-nominated work is that it shows us that conflict through the eyes of seven bright, funny, thoughtful kids, ages 9 to 13, on both sides.

Full Review… | August 22, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Beautifully crafted and brutally honest, Promises offers an unexpected window into the complexities of prejudice.

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Every individual will see the movie through the prism of his or her own beliefs and prejudices, but the one thing most will take away is the sense that peace is possible. That, in itself, is extraordinary.

Full Review… | June 14, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's sobering, particularly if anyone still thinks this conflict can be resolved easily, or soon.

Full Review… | May 17, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Promises


It ran a bit too long, but it was very eye-opening. (What a vapid sentence. You can tell that I need to take a shower and get to bed when that's all I can say about a massively meaningful and powerful movie like this.)

Brian Spiekerman
Brian Spiekerman

It's overly long for the story that it is, and some interviews are rather pointless, but it shares many important messages and one grows to love and support the children. 65%

diego michelena
diego michelena

By the end, the children are fleshed out and endearingly likable, and their opinions are eye-opening and well realized by the filmmakers. Unfortunately, Promises is undone by a bloated running time and a over-dependence on dull interviews and voiceovers.

Isaac H
Isaac H

Super Reviewer

Promises Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Promises on our Movie forum!

News & Features