Una Promessa

awarded with the Ecumenical Award 2020

Winners in 2022 were the multi-award winning twin brothers Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, they have been working together since 1999. Their films have screened at festivals including Cannes, Rotterdam and Oberhausen. In 2005, their short film Maria Jesus makes it to the shortlist of the Academy Awards. Their feature film debut Seven Works of Mercy premiered in the international competition at Locarno in 2011.


After the sudden death of his mother, little Antò has to go with his father to work in the harvest. Only a fantastic promise makes him endure the hardships of physical labor.

A tragic accident and a desperate promise: "You will see your mother again," says Giuseppe to his nine-year-old son Antò, after his mother has fallen down dead during the harvest. Because Giuseppe, who lost an eye while working in the quarry, can no longer work there, the two are driven to the same drudgery to which their mother fell victim.

The De Serio brothers set their gripping and hard narrative, reminiscent of the cinema of Italian neorealism, in carefully lit images. They portray the agriculture of southern Italy as a nightmarish and merciless system of exploitation. At the same time, they manage to give the father-son team the comfort they deserve. A sad film that doesn't want our tears, but our anger. A desperate film that does not resign, but remembers the promise of the father until the end.

Countries: Italy, France, Belgium

2020 | 104 min | Italian
Subtitles: English, German

Cast_ Salvatore Esposito, Samuele Carrino, Lica Lanera Screenplay_ Gianluca & Massimiliano De Serio Cinematography_ Antoine Héberlé AFC Producer* Alessandro Borreli, Thomas Ordonneau, Grégory Zalcman Rights_ Shellac

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