La Promesse (lit.'"The Promise"') is a 1996 drama film by the Belgian brothers Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. The plot involves a father, Roger, who mercilessly trafficks and exploits undocumented immigrants. His son, Igor, is fifteen and an apprentice mechanic, who also works for his father in his labor contracting operation. When one of their illegal workers is seriously injured at the worksite, left to die, and the death concealed by Roger and Igor, a guilt-ridden Igor must choose between his father's chosen way of life and his promise to the dying man.[2]

La Promesse
La Promesse poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byJean-Pierre Dardenne
Luc Dardenne
Written byJean-Pierre Dardenne
Luc Dardenne
StarringJérémie Renier
Olivier Gourmet
Assita Ouedraogo
CinematographyAlain Marcoen
Edited byMarie-Hélène Dozo
Music byJean-Marie Billy
Denis M'Punga
Les Films du Fleuve
Samsa Film
Touza Productions
Distributed byARP Sélection (France)
Release date
  • 16 October 1996 (1996-10-16)
Running time
90 minutes
Budget€1.5 million[1]
Box office$2.8 million[1]


Critical responseEdit

La Promesse received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95% approval rating, based on 21 reviews, with an average score of 7.8/10.[3] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 82, based on 17 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim ".[4]

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b "La Promesse". JP's Box-Office.
  2. ^ "TCM Film Article: La Promesse". Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  3. ^ "La Promesse (The Promise) (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  4. ^ "La Promesse (The Promise)". Metacritic.

External linksEdit