La Promesse

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Released 1996

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Movie Summary

Director:
Jean-Pierre Dardenne , Luc Dardenne
Released:
1996
Rating:
R
La promesse is the breakthrough feature from Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, who would go on to become a force in world filmmaking. The brothers brought the unerring eye for detail and the compassion for those on society’s lowest rungs developed in their earlier documentary work to this absorbing drama about a teenager (Jérémie Renier) gradually coming to understand the implications of his father’s making a living through the exploitation of undocumented workers. Filmed in the Dardennes’ industrial hometown of Seraing, Belgium, La promesse is a brilliantly economical and observant tale of a boy’s troubled moral awakening.

Metacritic Score

  • 88

    Philadelphia Inquirer Desmond Ryan

    La Promesse is a compelling look at issues that - in a world where ethnic frictions grow more tense, even as national boundaries disappear - really are universal.

  • 75

    San Francisco Chronicle Mick LaSalle

    The world of this film is like nothing most Americans have seen. But we know what it's about. It's about greed and guilt and how inconvenient it can be to have a soul.

  • 60

    New York Daily News Jami Bernard

    La Promesse believes that decency is an innate human quality that can surface from any rubble. [16 May 1997, p.47]

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