The seven children starring in the documentary are; Daniel and Yarko, Shomo, Moishe, Faraj, Mahmoud and Sanable. Daniel and Yarko are Israeli twins that life in West Jerusalem. Then we have an orthodox Jewish boy, Shomo, which spends 12 hours a day studying the Torah. Moishe is the kid who wants to be Israel’s first religious Prime Minister; he assured that when he runs the country he would clear Jerusalem of the Arabs. Faraj lives in the Deheishe refugee camp, where at age of 5 he saw getting his best friend getting killed by an Israeli soldier, from that point on the definition of “Israeli” meant “murderer” for Faraj. Mahmoud is a supporter of Hamas, where he believes that if more Jews are killed, the stronger Arabs will be. Lastly we have Sanable, whose father has been imprisoned by the Israelis because of his outspoken journalism.
When filming this documentary, the directors proposed a get together with all the children involved. While interviewing Daniel and Yarko, B.Z Goldberg asked them if they wanted to meet up with the other kids, when they both agreed Goldberg called Faraj and made Daniel communicate with him, resulting in a great adventure. The first connection made was by communicating with each other, even thought throughout the movie before the connection we see that Faraj has a strong opinion about the Israelis, you cannot really judge someone before you meet them.
When the get together was made, everybody agreed of the meet expect for Shomo. His life was all about studying, since the government but him in the school and paid him to study. Shomo created a bubble of comfort, making him reject communication of anything that went against the Torah. But all the other kids went, even though Daniel and Yarko were Israelis, Faraj, Sanable, Mahmoud and Moishe did not care about that after they started to communicate and started to play together as normal kids should do. When they sat down to talk about their different life styles, everybody had a better understanding of each other. Faraj and Moishe saw that not every Israeli is a murderer. When everybody child was sharing their perspectives and want they have lived through because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, communication was establish, everybody was talking to each other, nobody was pointing fingers at which religion or belief was wrong to support. There was no judgment at all with in the conversation of the children. Even though some of the kids have been scared because of the Israelis actions, they realized that not everybody is as cruel as the example the soldiers are giving. They realized that the little day spend together would not kill anybody and they saw that you cannot judge that everybody has the same mind set, you need to give people a chance before judgment is past on.
In the end of the day, Promises is a documentary that has won many awards and has people inspired, like Julie Salamon, The New York Times to says, “Extraordinary! Intensely personal and insightful —a humanist’s dream.” Communication is the key to many doors, the children realized that after they met with each other and interacted with each other. Without communication, outworld would be lost.
Promises - Trailer:
Promises - Trailer: