Promised Land (2004)
1h 34min | Drama
The story of a group of young unwitting Estonian girls smuggled through Egypt to be auctioned off as prostitutes in Israel, and of their initiation into this trade of flesh, and finally of the accidental freeing of one girl who most fight for her freedom.
A night in the Sinai desert. A group of men and women keep warm around a camp fire under the moonlight. The women come from Eastern Europe. The men, who normally walk their herds in the area, are Bedouins. Tomorrow, they will secretly cross the border. Tomorrow, Diana and the others will be beaten, raped and auctioned off. They will be passed from one hand to another, merchandised by Anne into Hanna's hostess club, victims of an international network of trafficking women. One night in the club, Diana meets Rose. Their encounter is a sign of hope into the women's descend into hell.
"Promised Land is a stunningly audacious movie, for political reasons as well as for the asthetical choices made. Gitai solves the problem of representing the ordeal, the nakedness and the descent into hell of these young women in an exemplary way. There are such films where the movie maker pretending to expose a situation, instead give way to voyeurism. Not so in this film; the eye of the director does never debase the actresses' bodies. Amos Gitai's concern for oppressed women goes a long way back in time (Bangkok-Bahrain, Kadosh). Promised Land questions the notion of territoriality (the traffickers speak all kinds of languages: Arab, French, Russian, Hebrew). Gitai depicts Israel as a huge capitalist brothel in the age of globalization. The reprensentation of enslaved bodies turned into a merchandise and contemptuously transported across borders and through checkpoints, appears as a metaphor of the way a scornful economic system conquers the world."
Jean-Luc Douin, Le Monde, January 12th, 2005
Cast Rosamund Pike, Diana Bespechni, Hanna Schygulla, Anne Parillaud, Kristina Likhnyski, Katya Drabkin, Alla An, Yussuf Abu Warda, Shalva Ben Moshe
Director Amos Gitai,
Script Amos Gitai based on Arthur Miller novel
Cinematography Caroline Champetier
Editing Isabelle Ingold
Production design Miguel Merkin
Music Simon Stockhausen
Sound Daniel Ollivier, Oleg Kaiserman, Alex Claude, Stéphane Thiébaut
Costumes Laura Dinolesko
Makeup Department Ronit Dugo-Arbiv
Casting Ilan Moscovitch
Executive producer(s) Shuki Friedman, Amos Gitai, Michaël Tapuach, Laurent Truchot, Jeremy Thomas, Michel Propper
Gitaï Production LGM Cinema, Les Films du Worso, France 2 Cinéma, Orange Studio, Hamon Hafakot, Agav Films
Production Agav Hafakot (Israel), Hamon Hafakot (Israel), Recorded Picture Company (UK), MP Productions (France)
Awards & Festivals
Nominations: Golden Lion, Volpi Cup for Best Actress