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Promises

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Ratings: 8.41/10 from 27 users.

Storyline

Promises

Promises presents a powerful portrait of seven Palestinian and Israeli children who live in and around Jerusalem. As filmmaker B.Z. Goldberg, who was raised in Israel, notes, They live no more than 20 minutes from each other, but they are each growing up in very separate worlds. The children include Mahmoud, Shlomo, Sanabel, Faraj, Moishe, and twins Yarko and Daniel.

With the exception of the latter, all are religious (the twins are the grandchildren of a Holocaust survivor). Most have strong political beliefs and have seen their share of tragedy - Faraj's friend was killed in front of him--but as the film makes clear, they're also kids.

They like to watch TV, hold burping contests, and compete in sports (Faraj is a runner, Yarko and Daniel play volleyball). Promises doesn't attempt to explain them, but lets the kids speak for themselves. The results are funny, sad, and ultimately quite profound.

If you believe in your heart that, despite every hurdle, peace is possible between the Israelis and Palestinians, this film will fill you with hope and wonder. That's not to say it's rosy - the children depicted in the film often exhibit anger and intolerance, but the mere act of recognition between the children of these two warring groups is enough to inspire faith in their futures. This film is a beautiful document of a precious, brave and tenuous experiment on the part of the filmmakers. May we all have the courage to try to guide the next generation into a more peaceful, more understanding world.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Peace!

    This is a very powerful documentary that anyone with a slight interest in the subject should watch. It has real depth as it presents both sides of the story. More than that it shows the inherent humanity in all children.

  • http://ibleedformydreams.blogspot.com Sarai

    It was amazing. I almost cried.

  • Charles B.

    Very good documentary. I understand just a little bit more about the situation. I've always wanted to live and teach in Israel or Jordan.

  • Valerie H

    I found this documentary very moving. I was touched by the children open enough to want to meet up. I found bravery and maturity in the children, or should i say young adults. I hope one day this world will stop fighting and realize no one owns any land its everyones.

  • Ron C

    A friend shared this link to me and I was deeply touch by the message. These youngster have great opinions and value about what they truly feel within. They taught me that through young generation, peace in their land can be possibly achieve in some ways. There is hope for peace and like these little children, they made it possible. I will recommend to all my friend to watch this documentary and thank you so much for showing this to the world.

  • Kath

    It was very good. The way children interacted is just magic. Both Governments should listen to kids as they are the purest form of kindness.

  • http://hiddenshelf.com eric

    of-course there can be peace but it must be here, not just in a particular country ;hope has no place in peace; you must do it, whether it in your house or the conflict,grudges you have with your neighbors,family or someone on this website which you have never met

    One must understand the importance of human relationship which we cannot do without even as distorted, divisive it is, it is at the very center of our many problems from which we have separated ourselves; what is relationship? And can there be relationship when there is division? Most of us have accepted that this is the way it is, that you have your corner and I have mine and that way we can live in peace(es) but there is so much fear in ones corner and illusion cause we cannot have that, land is part of our life, the food , the water, the streams which we rape, poison and eventually we will meet, and as we are, one can see what is happening; as long as there is division there can’t be peace, this is an irrefutable fact, one can do their diligence in politics or whatever, but it is all meaningless, forgive me, but that is so; one has to be negative;

  • Aaron

    A wonderful documentary! I found all of the Jewish and Palestinian characters to be very interesting, and the ones who decided to meet, way to go! I almost cried! :)

  • Peace From muslim

    if the people thinking like this children; we will see the peace very soon
    is reeally amazing documentary and he toke i long time of hard work
    thank you promisesproject

  • BB and MIna Quabaq

    What an amazing documentary! Can anyone tell us where we can find the follow up? (Promises Fours Years On?)

  • Hardy

    Another great doc on how human ignorance, greed and religion never seem to cease at destroying the chance for peace.

    Lets see if the seculars may be able to finally bring reason and mutual respect to these people.

  • Kong

    I want to see the special features where they're interviewed in another 2 years.

  • afly_on_the_wall

    this was fantastic...i did cry ..not almost ...i really did

  • http://www.jalaliyyihquinn.com Jalaliyyih

    Heart breaking and poignant. and yet hope is there hanging on a thread. I want more young Americans to see this. Where are these children today? It has been some time, so now they are almost grown.
    This is the third or fourth time I have seen Promices. It is more heart breating than the first times.

  • andy

    a very touching documentary

  • K.T

    It is absolutely tragic the fact that if it wasn't for some pieces of earth and buildings deemed "holy" by two different religions these people could coexist.

  • Rudy Jay

    This documentary was just brilliant.

  • Sameer

    amazing documentary. Feelings and compassion is more impotent then reaction and action.

  • alabilazab

    Amazing!

  • HeWinked

    Absolutely beautiful!! Nothing was in vain...corney as it might sound...like a pebble in the water, the effects will ripple. Thanks for this

  • Nolan

    If all the world are children, we can achieve world peace today.

  • kimdracula

    I really loved Faraj, he seems like such a genuine soul. I hope he's grown up to be a happy person.

  • Abdul Ghani

    Amazing documenatry, some things may get clear to us after watching this, but there will still be other mysterious things that only people who were in it will understand, this shows that both arabs and israelis were wrong and right, I'm not the one who decides whether the arabs or the israelis are guilty, but I still have a humble opinion about the stuation

  • AMNA

    I am Palestinian. my grand father run away from Palestine in 47 to Egypt. I've always lived abroad. I ve never visited Palestine, but Palestine always lived in me , because of the family history i carry.
    I can have some things in common with those Palestinian kids, even though i've never lived there lives and had their experiences and most of all didn't live their day to day fears and lack of freedom.

    * Because of living far from my homeland and not even getting the chance of visiting it ever. I felt the same as this palestinian child, who can't cross the check points to go back on the land where his ancestors lived.

    *Because of hearing the history of my family and how they lost their homes, and members of the family. I feel like this Palestinian kid, that feels the unfairness towards the jews , that confiscated their land and lived on it.

    *Because of having the opportunity of meeting jew people, through my foreign (french) education . I realised just like those palestinian kids, that not all jews are haters and killers of palestinians. Just like not all palestinians are terrorists.

    So before, we should think about peace..like those kids from both sides (even the most religious one) I think that the key is COMMUNICATING.

    But unfortunatly there is something that could never be erased from both sides, the sadness and the grudge . That will always push some to extreme moves to feel "free" and legitimate.

    All of that to say ..: this documentary is more then real.It shows that no matter what barrier you put between people, dialogue is ALWAYS POSSIBLE.

  • David N.

    This movie was very touching. Not only did it show how children brought up from this kind of environment are raised to hate each other, it also showed their purest and softest sides that if given the chance they would like to play and interact with one another. But as all humans, we are pressured to follow the kind of cultures we are born in even if they are clearly not the right path and our hearts does not really really want it for ourselves.

  • Justwondering....

    Do u have pictures of the kids as u were filming?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6PSIZXVYA4VMFXQC3GGX7OQ44 auntylou

    Yes Faraj seems such a sweet soul and very beautiful physically too. I hope he can one day return in peace and return to rebuild his grandmother's house.

    All the children in this film struck me as being incredibly intelligent and deep thinkers.

    I really loved the little Arab boy who said "I believe all children are innocent" . That he can grow up there and yet still have such beautiful thoughts is incredibly inspiring.

    Thank you B.Z. Goldberg for your work. Please go back and bring us more documentaries like this one that lead us closer to sanity and the state of loving kindness which is everyone's birthright. Bless You.

  • Bella Fabrizi

    i know Faraj. He's an amazing man. he really is a happy soul

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1242714881 Harun Muhd

    yeah indeed it was. i cried.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PECR7SUIETC25HS6UJNPTYLYZE Priscilla

    I loved the documentary, it was really especial. Hey does anyone knows what's the name of the song in the minute 1:28:15 when they're at the park playing soccer??? I'd like to get it! Thanks.

  • morsie2

    Do the Palestinians really have clocks with hands going backwards!?

  • morsie2

    Great doco. Lovely kids. Peace is in Northern Ireland. It can happen between Israel and Palestine. Just needs humbleness.

  • Quadaja Herriott

    This documentary was very well done. I was introduced to it by my history teacher and absolutely loved it. While all the children seemed very intelligent and well spoken, the twin boys Yarko & Daniel had beautiful insight for their age.

  • ranii02

    such a touching documentary! loved it. i understand the reasons behind this war just a little more now.

  • http://twitter.com/ShakedTabib shaked tabib

    it litteraly made me cry.. being an israeli girl it touched my heart in ways i didnh think it could. Beautiful story, its just sucks that so many kids, including myself, are brought up to hate the other side of the fence even though we dont even know what its like over there... we assume and dont explore other peoples opinios and feelings.

  • Guest

    What a Lovely Documentary. It's sad to know the Twins have eventually joined the Army. It begs the question, What good has come out of the interaction between the two sides? There will be no peace with a majority of Israeli civilians knowing the occupation is wrong in it's entirety then growing up to have adopted completely different views, the worst part is the twins have seen how these Palestinian refugees live, why is it so hard for Israeli's I wonder. Greed, insecurity, Incompassion, Arrogance has easily taken the toll of them I guess. The Israeli civilians will always live in fear and will also and probably always be armed, this, of course will not bring any good, rather, it will produce more soldiers and hence, continue the conflict. It's amazing how even with their Soldiers they still live in fear, it's simple, you know the way they say 'you can't give what you don't have'?..well in this case, you can't have what you don't deserve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ZaeemAbidSiddiqui Zaeem Siddiqui

    Awesome Documentary... These kind of stuffs can really bring Peace, I can say that confidentially by the grace of God !

  • http://twitter.com/Jess_Jaffe Jessica Jaffe

    I wish this film (and the youtube clips of some the kids more grown up) could be shown throughout Israel and Palestine. Even though it takes place some years ago, in some ways, I think things - in particular, communication - has perhaps gotten worse. I love this documentary because of its honesty - because not everything is perfect and in reality, this conflict - like so many others - is quite complex. I also like how this documentary doesn't pretend to have the answers, but is doing something so important and courageous by really exploring some of the many different worlds we live in here, giving them real faces, personalities, and stories - and trying to bring them together. Our past, present, and future are so intertwined and connected ... we can't continue to live in separate worlds. It is only harming us all.

  • Kamil_Z

    I wish things were different, I feel so sorry for all the people in the film. The greatest advantage of the film for me is that it explains the conflict in a simple and human way - I think that few people in Europe and other parts of the world really understand what's going on there and what the basis of the conflict is. Being from Poland, where the memories of Holocaust are still alive, I can't help thining that you just can't give up fighting for peace. The people who live next door, even if they're your enemies do not differ that much in fact. You just need to try understand that, leave all the past behind (like we did with Germans) and start everything from the beginning. If you keep looking back, you'll never be able to bury the hatchet.

  • Amber Cartwright

    Shlomo seems so wise for his age

  • Amber Cartwright

    All such beautiful and brave children

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2NEWCGDI3R5NRAEIFRRGF2CEJQ Ray

    so sad and just wish one day theres peace respect all

  • Barthalemue j

    Burping. . . .Priceless . .

  • Barthalemue j

    i do,
    those kids rule!
    if only all jewish & arab, can settle this with who can better burp in ur face,...wata wonderfull world . . .

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TYDODVJG65P2ASM2YJF5KEZXVE Precious

    I cried so badly when I saw this documentary, in the rally of the news we forget the children that get caught up in the crossfire of this madness.

  • Palestiniansarah

    Oh my god I cried so much...

    I need peace so so much, noone in the world can know that. Like daniel said, they'll say yes we want it too, but they can't know how I feel and how much me and all my people need it. Even if they're children, but most of the israeli children I saw here seemed to me very intolerant, except the twins. If only God existed, he wouldn't let that happen or at least would have stopped it.

    I'm learning hebrew now to be able to speak to israelis, but I still didn't meet any peaceful israeli. Please God, if you exist, my mother needs peace and may my father, killed by israeli soldiers, rest in peace.

  • nain tara

    We the human beings could never learn to live like human beings.the most important ingredient of this life was love for the fellow human beings,but factual position is that human beings have brought more ruin to human beings than any other creature could.media can still help us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tibetan-Mastiff/100002041285008 Tibetan Mastiff

    Military service is mandatory in Israel, no?

  • Dustin Stellpflug

    good

  • Dustin Stellpflug

    good movie but sad

  • Dustin Stellpflug

    sad when kid dies best friend dies

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004480051056 Alyssa Kuhn

    The film was shown to the Israelies and the Palestinians. There is another 20 min. clip saying that it was. You should watch it. It has more of there 'current' feelings and preety much has alot of answers to your questions, before making this comment you also probably should have done more research... this makes you seems... different and out of place... (didn't mean to offend you, if I did I am sorry)

  • black's_just_a_color

    lol, I got sad when Yarko and Daniel joined the army :( but I loved the movie, very motivating :) we're even doing a debate in class about who should keep the land....I got Israel, but I don't really know who should keep it...both have very good and strong reasons why. Ugh, my debate is tomorrow, wish me luck!

  • black's_just_a_color

    My condolences. I don't really know much about your point of view neither the Israelis' on the situation, but I am trying really hard to understand. I really hope this is something that has a solution in the end.