A Film by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
Igor, a young adolescent, is helping his father, Roger, run an illegal immigrant labour ring while continuing to indulge in childhood pastimes (building a go-kart with two pals). For Igor taking part in his father's scams is part of the natural order of things like stealing a purse from the old lady whose car he is repairing, "innocent" wrong doings...
But he is about to lose his innocence abruptly the day when, with Roger, and upon his orders, they leave Hamidou, an African migrant, to die after he accidentaly falls from some scaffolding. Before he dies, Hamidou aks Igor to promise to look after his wife Assita and son Seydou. Igor makes his promise without Roger's knowledge and this is the beginning of the gradual awakening of moral awkeness in Igor, who is torn between fear, loyalty to his father, and loyalty to his promise. When he correctly guesses what his father intends to do with Assita, who is stubbornly waiting for her husband's return and refuses to go back to her own country, Igor runs away with her, without revealing the truth about Hamidou to her. This is Igor's first break with his father, the first betrayal.
While on the run, Igor helps Assita and her Seydou, and little by little discovers compassion and mutual commitment. When Assita places her trust in him after a series of clashes, Igor feels that the only response that this trust deserves is to tell the truth about Hamidou's death. He tries to persuade his father to join him in telling her the truth, but when Roger refuses, Igor makes up his mind to betray him. Igor undergoes a long initiation into truth, during which he loses his father but finds human dignity.
Watch The Promise trailer