Though the seven protagonists in Promises are not that desperate yet, they are already filled with hatred. The children who represent different groups on both sides live in and around Jerusalem – less than twenty minutes from each other. BZ is the on-camera narrator who talks with the children about the conflict and their daily lives.
The idea of focusing on children opens up many facets in depicting the conflict: representing the future, they will either continue the conflict or find peace – they inherit the conflict, yet are still innocent. You can’t really take a standpoint against children. Does Promises then give us an idea of what the future will bring? The film tries hard to remain optimistic by stating that children are children who, if they meet, will eventually be able to overcome their hatred and make friends. That is BZ and Justine Shapiro’s project: they are on their own peace mission and want the kids to get together, Palestinians and Jews, so they can find out for themselves that they are alike and can make friends, which is the first step towards peace.
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