Sunday, April 28, 1:00 p.m. | 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 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. Preceded by HAMZA: THE GHOST CHASING ME (2023, dir. Ward Kayyal, 18 min.) and PULSE OF PALESTINE (2023 dir. Leena Nabulsi, 35 min.).


Awards & Nominations

Winner - Best Documentary Feature, Camden International Film Festival
Winner - YLE Award for Best International Documentary, DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival
Winner -  Buraq Award, Best Alternative Feature Film, MENA Film Festival
Nominee - Best Medium Length Film, Visions du Réel International Film Festival Nyon
Official Selection - True/False Film Festival


Chicago Palestine Film Festival: Founded in 2001, the Chicago Palestine Film Festival (CPFF) is an annual cultural event that serves as a vibrant platform for showcasing the rich and diverse narratives of Palestinian cinema. The festival provides a unique space for filmmakers, artists, and audience members to engage with compelling stories that explore the multifaceted aspects of Palestinian life. View full festival.


The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu