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Promised Land (2004)

"Promised Land" tells the story of a group of young unwitting Estonian girls smuggled through Egypt to be auctioned off as prostitutes in Israel, and of their initiation into this trade of ... See full summary »


1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rose
Diana Bespechni ... Diana
... Hanna
... Anne
Alla An ... Alla
Kristina Likhnyski ... Kristina
Katya Drabkin ... Katya
... Yussuf
... Hezi
Shalva Ben-Moshe ... Igor
Craig Bachins ... Greg
Meital Peretz ... Meital
Menachem Lang ... Menahem
Ran Kauchinsky ... Rani
Peeter Polluveer ... Peeter


"Promised Land" tells the story of a group of young unwitting Estonian girls smuggled through Egypt to be auctioned off as prostitutes in Israel, and of their initiation into this trade of flesh, and finally of the accidental freeing of one girl who most fight for her freedom. Written by Batsheva

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Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

21 October 2004 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Gelobtes Land  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Amos Gitai said in an interview that he convinced the cast and crew to literally camp out in the desert where the opening sequences were shot. This began because he was tired of the long daily commute from the location to Tel Aviv, but he believes that the fact that most of them agreed to join him, living in tents without running water for days, added to the gritty realism of these scenes, because the actresses were just as unwashed and uncomfortable as their characters. See more »


Peace Upon You Jerusalem
Written by Arvo Part
Performed by Girls Choir
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User Reviews

Totally confused..thoroughly disappointed
31 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This was an incredibly important subject...treated in an amateurish, arrogant way. The director expected the audience to understand what was going on...this was impossible: there was no plot, no script to "speak" of, no plot points, no character development, no story development. It was filmed in a shaky documentary style (which is valid if you have something to say). I was always taught that any narrative, be it a movie, book, play, even a piece of music, has to have a beginning, a middle and an end - this dreadful excuse for a movie had a beginning...and then it waffled for the next hour or so until the woman we sort of guessed was the heroine, ran off into the night. Let's be specific: The opening sequence wasn't that bad - very evocative scenes in the dessert, camels, Bedouin, a group of Eastern European women, a campfire, lots of Russian and Arabic chit chat - OK, "expectations build": Next scene (after the first obligatory rape scene): auction of the Eastern European women as prostitutes: very noisy, not sure who the English-speaking (French-accented) person was - a buyer or a seller: couldn't make that out. A van drives by with two people in the back (man/woman) staring out at the auction...who are they, why are they there? Nobody knows. Next scene: in a nightclub (after the "hosing down" of the prostitutes - a highly contrived scene, calculated to make us think of Holocaust victims in the showers - come on Amos, what are you really trying to say? The woman from the van (we eventually learn her name is Rose - Rosamund Pike) which was driving around the auction and her boyfriend (is he her boyfriend?) arrive at the nightclub, one of the prostitutes asks her for help. Rose is totally confused: "What, how, why - I can't help you...why me?" she says indicating that she doesn't even understand the cry for help. Next scene, Rose and her boyfriend (?) are in the passenger compartment of a van with ALL THE PROSTITUTES IN THE BACK! Hello...! What's going on here? She couldn't (or wouldn't) help the prostitute escape, why is she in the van with them? Contrived gratuitous sex scene with Rose and her boyfriend (?). Next scene, the van arrives in a grimy industrial area, unloads the prostitutes at what is apparently a brothel ("The Promised Land" of the title) - and lo and behold, Rose the mystery woman gets out with them and enters the brothel: where's her boyfriend? Dunno... Why is she there with them? Dunno...She and the "heroine" - the prostitute who begged her for help in the nightclub - sit huddled together listening to the driving rain (it wasn't raining when they entered the brothel), talking as if they were old friends. Flashback, to Estonia, the prostitute is a virginal choir girl, singing about the "Peace of Jerusalem" (in English mind you), pure driven snow outside (another "message") and suddenly Rose appears: OK now I'm totally lost. Then the audience is jerked back to the present with a terrorist attack on the brothel - why? There's nobody around, the only people there (apparently) are whores and their johns...upstairs - why a terrorist attack here? Everybody runs outside, the prostitute who asked for help and Rose escape in the confusion and run off into the night. Close. ..and this won a prize at the Venice Film Festival!!!!??? It wouldn't win a passing grade in a student film contest. It's clearly a case of the Emperor's New Clothes: this has to be the most self-indulgent so-called movie ever to grace the screen: even "Plan 9 from Outer Space" had some quirky charm... Sorry Amos - not even an "E" for effort.

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