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PROMISES — the Film

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.

Running time, 106 minutes.
Arabic, Hebrew and English dialogue with English subtitles.

The Children

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




PROMISES was produced in co-production with ITVS and received major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
The Ford Foundation
The Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture
The Lear Family Foundation
Threshold Foundation
The Yip Harburg Foundation
The Eva & Lucius Eastman Fund
The Joan W. & Steven B. Belkin Foundation
Ampersand Holdings Corporation
and hundreds of individual donors.

Partial Credit List

Written, Produced & Directed by
Justine Shapiro & B.Z. Goldberg

Co-Director & Editor
Carlos Bolado

Yoram Millo & Ilan Buchbinder

Sound Design
Rogelio Villanueva

Sound Recording
Carlos Bolado
B.Z. Goldberg
Justine Shapiro

Consulting Writer & Researcher
Stephen Most

Executive Producer
Janet Cole

© Copyright 2003. The Promises Film Project. All rights reserved.