Found in: Afrika Eye
La Promesse

La Promesse

classified 18 (CTBA) S

Afrika Eye Festival 2017


Please note: This was screened in Nov 2017

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Jérémie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Assita Ouedraogo
90 mins, Subtitled, 1996, Belgium | France | Luxembourg | Tunisia

Subtitled Screening + Panel Discussion with BSL Interpreter

The Dardenne brothers' feature debut is a stunning achievement, an emotionally powerful coming of age tale, which shows that humanity can prevail in the harshest economic conditions.

Since its release over 20 years ago, La Promesse has become increasingly relevant in the age of economic migration. Igor, a young Belgian, is coming of age amidst the trafficking and exploitation of illegal workers. Smuggling people into Antwerp, his corrupt father Roger offers work on his construction sites and provides them with inadequate housing at exorbitant rates. While learning the family business, Igor’s moral compass begins to spin. When there is tragedy on site, Igor is torn between loyalty to his father and a promise he has made. If he betrays his father, he faces violence and retribution. But can Igor’s conscience cope if he doesn’t keep his promise?

This is a raw, intense, and engaging anatomy of a 15-year-old boy's moral crisis in a bleak town. The Dardennes’ breakthrough feature, it challenges us to consider the lives of those on the edge of society and the fundamental social and moral dilemmas that both Igor and the audience must grapple with. A grim but hopeful film that shows us the birth of a consciousness.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about migration and trafficking, the discussion will have BSL interpretation.