Promises follows the journey of one of the filmmakers, Israeli-American B.Z. Goldberg. B.Z. travels to a Palestinian refugee camp and to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and to the more familiar neighborhoods of Jerusalem where he meets seven Palestinian and Israeli children. Though the children live only 20 minutes apart, they exist in completely separate worlds; the physical, historical and emotional obstacles between them run deep.
PROMISES explores the nature of these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who dared to cross the lines to meet their neighbors. Rather than focusing on political events, the seven children featured in PROMISES offer a refreshing, human and sometimes humorous portrait of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
PROMISES, a film by Justine Shapiro, B.Z. Goldberg and co-director and editor Carlos Bolado, was shot between 1995-2000.
The 7 children featured in PROMISES were filmed over 4 years when they were 9-12 years old:
- Yarko & Daniel. Secular Israeli twin boys living in Jerusalem.
- Faraj. A Palestinian refugee boy living in the Deheishe Refugee Camp in the West Bank.
- Sanabel. A Palestinian refugee girl in the Deheishe Refugee Camp in the West Bank.
- Shlomo. An ultra-orthodox Jewish boy in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
- Mahmoud. A Palestinian boy living in East Jerusalem.
- Moishe & sister Raheli live in the Beit El Settlement in the West Bank
2002 Emmy Award “Best Documentary”
2002 Emmy Award “Outstanding Background Analysis”
2002 The NBR Freedom of Expression Citation National Board of Review
2002 The Michael Landon Award for Community Service to Youth Twenty-Third Annual Young Artist Awards
2001 Rotterdam International Film Festival. Audience Award and Best Film
2001 Munich Film Festival Freedom of Expression Award
2001 Jerusalem Film Festival Special Festival Award
2001 Locarno International Film Festival Special Ecumenical Jury Prize
2001 San Francisco International Film Festival Audience Award, Best Documentary Grand Prize, Best Documentary Golden Gate Award, Documentary Film
2001 Vancouver International Film Festival Audience Award, Diversity in Spirit Award
2001 Hamptons International Film Festival Best Documentary
2001 Sao Paulo International Film Festival Best Documentary Audience Award
2001 Valladolid International Film Festival Best Documentary
2001 Paris International Film Festival (Rencontres) Audience Award-Best Film