Yousef Srouji
Palestine, Lebanon, United States | 2023 | 60 min
World premiere
Language : Arabic
Subtitles : English, French

While the Israeli army retaliates against the second intifada in the West Bank in the early 2000s, a mother films her family's daily life, punctuated by time spent in the basement. Her son revisits this past, delivering a heart-breaking film that conveys the anguish of children and their parents who are forced to choose between safety and emotional upheaval.

This 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 to the second intifada on 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, paralysed 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.

Emilie Bujès

Three Promises, 2023


Suha Khamis
Swish Audio House
Mahdokht Mahmoudabadi
Ghiya Rushidat
Marielle OlentineZein Khleif
Sales contact
Yousef SroujiSuha Documentary

International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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