Igor and his father, Roger, are making a decent living renting apartments to illegal immigrants and sometimes working them illegally (among other scams). But when the building inspector ... See full summary »
Sokol and Lorna, two Albanian emigrants in Belgium, dream of leaving their dreary jobs to set up a snack bar. They need money, and a permanent resident status. Claudy is a junkie - he needs... See full summary »
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
Jean, a farm lad, wants to escape his silent father; he runs to Paris to his older brother, Georges, who's away covering the war in Kosovo. Angry, he throws a bag of half-eaten pastry into ... See full summary »
A man wanders out of the desert not knowing who he is. His brother finds him, and helps to pull his memory back of the life he led before he walked out on his wife and son four years before... See full summary »
Harry Dean Stanton,
Igor and his father, Roger, are making a decent living renting apartments to illegal immigrants and sometimes working them illegally (among other scams). But 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
La Promesse is one of the best films of this decade. With its simple style and character-driven plot, one may think that the film comes from one of the Dogma 95 manifesto directors but it doesn't. The film's strengths lie in its theme of morality and responsibility and in its no-nonsense portrayal of the immigrant situation in Belgium (with reverberations reaching all across Europe). One can say that it's a coming-of-age tale--and in some ways it is--but when one thinks of the usual film categorized as such, the moniker doesn't match. Even the scene where Igor is being seduced by an older woman, while his father and his father's girlfriend look on, has no follow-up, no clumsy bedroom scene where we see Igor lose his virginity. The film makers just cut from the seduction scene in the bar to Igor the next morning back to his "job" at the dilapidated building site. Clearly, the directors are unconcerned with the staples of the "coming-of-age" genre. More precisely, I think it should be called a "coming-of-conscience" film. The final scene is at the same time heartbreaking and thought-provoking. The way they end the movie is a masterstroke because it forces the viewer to ponder what will come next, thus prompting self-reflective questions on what the viewer himself or herself would have chosen to do.
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