26 user 55 critic

La Promesse (1996)

La promesse (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 16 May 1997 (USA)
Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit illegal aliens. When one of the aliens is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.

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16 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Assita Ouedraogo ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Michel Balthazar
Frédéric Bodson ...
The garage boss
Katarzyna Chrzanowska
Florian Delain ...
Hachemi Haddad ...
Alain Holtgen ...
Le postier
Geneviève Joly-Provost ...
Sophia Leboutte
Rasmané Ouédraogo ...
Amidou (as Rasmane Ouedraogo)
Norbert Rutili


Igor--a 15-year-old apprentice mechanic--spends his off hours at the beck and call of his father. Igor's father, Roger, is a low-life involved with smuggling illegal immigrants into Belgium, and acts as their slumlord, housing them in barely livable conditions, and paying them menial wages to work construction on his building (among other scams). When the building inspector pays a surprise visit and Amidou falls off a scaffold in his hurry to hide, things start to unravel, particularly when Igor makes a promise to the injured Amidou that ultimately exposes the different values of Igor and Roger, and of Amidou's wife, Assita. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

16 May 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Promesse  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,220 (USA) (16 May 1997)


$454,720 (USA) (25 July 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


An hour and 4 minutes into the film (NTSC) when Assita asks Igor to pour some water onto her hair - the sound of water hitting the ground comes before the water is actually seen hitting the ground. See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent no-frills film about conscience and morality.
26 December 2000 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"La Promesse", from the makers of "Rosetta", is an award winning drama which gets down to business quickly. The film is shot with no frills and the hard edge of a documentary. It tells of a father and son, both of questionable character, who make their living on the backs of transient illegal aliens in Belgium and the schism which developes between them as they engage a serious matter of conscience. Viewers with an appetite for reality in film will extol this flick while fantasy lovers may hate its grit.

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Relationship between father and son n0068568
so she doesn't go to italy? jblueshoes
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