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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


The Promise
Directed by Margarethe von Trotta
New Line Home Video 11/95 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - a scene of sex, language

In The Promise Konrad and Sophie, two teenage lovers, are separated in 1961 shortly after the Berlin Wall is built. He remains in the East and she escapes to the West.

Over the next 28 years, they see each other once in Prague and two other times. They both become involved with other people, but in the deepest recesses of their souls, they struggle with what might have been. Konrad tries to lose himself in his work as an astrophysicist. Sophie raises their son but remains an unhappy woman.

This poignant tale of loss by German director Margarethe von Trotta (Rosa Luxemburg, Marianne and Juliane) shows how political events can shatter private dreams. The film captures the repressiveness of East Berlin and the moral ambiguity of life in the West. The Berlin Wall becomes a metaphor for all that breaks apart, detaches, and alienates Konrad and Sophie. The Promise is a shattering film about loss.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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