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The Promise, the film that garnered the Dardennes international attention, is a harrowing rite-of-passage story partly inspired by Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Depicting Europe as a soulless capitalist subjecting the underdeveloped world to a new form of slavery, the film focuses on the feud that develops between an apprentice mechanic Igor and his immigrant-trafficking father Roger over how to help the widow of an African worker. The Promise represents a bold statement that established the Dardennes’ social-realistic aesthetic.
Dardenne brothers are directors, screenwriters and producers of their own films. Known for socially engaged topics, their most notable films are: Rosetta (Palme d’Or, 1999), The Child (Palme d’Or, 2005), Lorna’s Silence (Best Screenplay in Cannes, 2008), The Kid with a Bike (Grand Prix in Cannes, 2011), Two Days, One Night (2014), Young Ahmed (Best Directors Award in Cannes, 2019), etc.