I Promise You Paradise
Viewer Advice: Strong impact themes.
From Cannes Critics’ Week comes a masterful portrait of an ostracised immigrant searching for salvation.
After an unnamed violent incident, Eissa, a Black teenager living in Egypt, does whatever it takes to secure the freedom of the woman and child who accompany him. But director Morad Mostafa is interested less in the act of violence itself; rather, he depicts the isolation it engenders, showing how despair leads to increasingly desperate measures. Painterly cinematography captures the young man’s exile from his environment, while Kenyi Marcellino delivers a powerful yet controlled performance as Eissa, whose silent determination largely plays out across his anguished face. This is a humane and intimate study of a painfully common political reality, whose poignancy resonates beyond its particular setting.