Three Promises

by Yousef Srouji
Director weaves intimate, unsettling interior lives of his Palestinian family during Israeli bombardment using 20+ year old home movies.
2023  ·  1h1m  ·  Lebanon, Palestine, United States
English subs
About the Film

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 ofeveryday 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.

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Festivals and Awards
Camden International Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature
DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, YLE Award for Best International Documentary
MENA Film Festival, Buraq Award
Marielle Olentine
Zein Khleif
Suha Khamis
Mashal Kawasmi
Mahdokht Mahmoudabadi
About the Director

Yousef Srouji

Yousef Srouji is an entrepreneur, consultant and storyteller. His work focuses especially on understanding the dynamics of the occupation of Palestine and community resilience in different conflict zones. Srouji has studied Development Practice in UC Berkeley and Economics in University of British Columbia specializing in socio-economic research.

Srouji spent the first part of his childhood in Palestine until his family fled to Qatar during the Second Intifada. That is also where Srouji’s first feature documentary takes place. The heart-rending film Three Promises is nominated in DocPoint’s International Competition. It is a journey to the West Bank in the early 2000’s and to Srouji’s childhood through the homevideos his mother has shot.