Promises Written in Water (2010)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  7 September 2010 (Italy)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 124 users  
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Promises Written in Water is an extremely stripped down abstract romantic story of a man and a woman, both in crisis. Kevin (Vincent Gallo) is a long-time, professional assassin, ... See full summary »



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Director: Vincent Gallo
Stars: Vincent Gallo


Complete credited cast:
Delfine Bafort ...
Hope Tomaselli ...
Dead Girl
Lisa Love ...
Grieving Woman
The Mafioso
Dead Girl's Mother (as Livia Trevino)
Dead Girl's Father


Promises Written in Water is an extremely stripped down abstract romantic story of a man and a woman, both in crisis. Kevin (Vincent Gallo) is a long-time, professional assassin, specializing in the termination of life. Mallory (Delfine Bafort) is a wild, poetic, beautiful young woman confronting her terminal illness and eventual suicide. She reaches out to Kevin to take responsibility for her corpse once she passes, requesting his protection of her dead body's dignity until her cremation. Kevin's acceptance of this request causes uncomfortable self-reflection and changes the lens through which he views death. Written by Production

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Release Date:

7 September 2010 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Funeral Director  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Though Gallo understands his silence may excite journalists and bloggers into easy brush-offs and perpetuate unsubstantiated rumors and hearsay, he still chooses to disconnect from the low frequency exchange required to communicate with the press. See more »


Referenced in La última película (2013) See more »


Performed by Polygon Window
Written by Richard James
Courtesy of Warp Records
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User Reviews

A Powerful Meditation on Love and Loss
15 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Vincent Gallo's Promises Written in Water defies both convention and categorization. From its beautiful black and white cinematography to its skeletal narrative structure, the film plays like a great novel where rather than spell out every single plot detail, the author (or in this case director) has instead chosen to give the reader (or the viewer) the joy of discovering key elements and using those elements to synthesize storyline on their own.

The film's sparse narrative tells the story of a dying girl and the unlikely man she asks to assist her during this time. It features two very strong acting performances from Vincent Gallo (who also wrote, directed, produced and edited the movie) and newcomer Delfine Bafort.

Watching this movie one can't help but reflect on the current state of experimental, independent, or whatever you name you choose to call non-mainstream filmmaking. You would not be alone if you come to the conclusion that the only filmmaker today who is willing to take the risks associated with living outside the mainstream film world is Vincent Gallo. He is also the only person who possesses the sensibility and the talent to consistently turn out films that resonate on multiple intellectual levels while maintaining a unique cinematic beauty.

Gallo has made another truly original film. And that is something one would be hard pressed to say about any other filmmaker working today.

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Recent Posts
such a beautiful movie... (Venice screening) jeremiah28
'.. would not be released' Abominable-dr-max
Looks like the little interest there was in this is already dead HolyShackles
No awards at Venice HolyShackles
Finally has a page! HolyShackles
'Promises Written in Water' web sites + 2 NEW Vincent Gallo short films info-832-339315
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