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Three Promises

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Three Promises is the story of a mother and her camera, of a son and his suppressed memories, and of an entire country. At the start of the 2000s, while the Israeli army is retaliating against the second intifada in the West Bank, Suha films her daily family life, punctuated by frequent trips underground and overwhelmed by the anguish of her two young children. At every moment of intense danger, she promises God that she will leave if they survive. In 2017, her son, the director of this film, discovers this archive and reconnects with this suppressed past, wondering with his mother what drove her to record a daily life of suffering, a stolen childhood, and why she delayed fleeing, paralyzed by the hope for change and burdened by the impossible choice between physical safety and emotional upheaval. While on the surface there emerges the heartrending portrait of everyday life in times of war, it is the staggering beauty of a mother’s love that is revealed between the lines. Blending the voice of the present with impressive family footage, Yousef Srouji completes the story begun by Suha, thus averting the act of forgetting, both personal and collective.

About the Director
Yousef Srouji is a first-time documentary filmmaker and longtime storyteller. His work centers around understanding the dynamics of occupation in Palestine, and community resilience in conflict zones. He holds a Master of Development Practice from UC Berkeley and hopes to use his skills to aid and empower marginalized communities in the Middle East. Yousef spent the first part of his childhood in Palestine, then relocated to Qatar with his family in the midst of the Second Intifada. He attended the University of British Columbia, where he earned a BA in Economics.




Yusef Srouji

Country of Origin





In Arabic with English subtitles

61 min

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