Promises is a powerful documentary that follows the lives of seven children, Palestinians and Israelis alike, who live in and around Jerusalem. Though they are only a mere 20 minutes apart from each other, their worlds could not be more different. The children featured in the film are Mahmoud, Shlomo, Sanabel, Faraj, Moishe, and twins Yarko and Daniel; most of whom are religious. The documentary showcases how each child experiences life in a world filled with tragedy – Faraj’s friend was killed right before his eyes – but also provides an intimate look into the lighter side of their lives as they watch TV and have burping contests or play sports (Faraj is a runner while Yarko and Daniel play volleyball).
The message Promises conveys is one that emphasizes understanding rather than judgement.The film doesn’t attempt to explain its protagonists but instead allows them to speak for themselves – resulting in footage that’s simultaneously funny, sad and profound.
This remarkable documentary is certainly worth watching as it offers viewers a unique opportunity to explore the lives of these inspiring children through their own words and perspectives. It is sure to leave you with feelings of empathy as you ponder over what it means to grow up and exist within two very separate worlds.