7.9/10
5,530
26 user 56 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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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 May 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Promesse  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$454,720 (USA) (25 July 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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

 
Gritty and Uncompromising
6 December 1999 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

LA PROMESSE is a coming of age story of sorts. The young teenaged protagonist works for his father, who loves him deeply. The father is sleazy exploiter of illegal aliens, and the boy is learning the trade of preying on the defenseless of society that includes theft from the elderly and extortion from the immigrants. And it seems to be suiting him just fine until he helps his father cover up a fatal accident at his construction site. The accident that did not have to be fatal, but the father does not want to risk the scrutiny of the authorities. The boy promises the dying immigrant that he will take care of the man's wife and baby. Slowly the youth begins to question his and his father's morality.

Shot in a documentary style without music score, the urban Antwerp setting as well as the story are uniformly gray and grim. Nonetheless this is an excellent film that tells a terrific moral tale to which there are no easy answers. An excellent rental.


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