American Promise

( USA / 2013 )
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AMERICAN PROMISE spans 12 years in the lives of two middle class black families as they navigate their family experience when they choose to send their two young sons to a prestigious Manhattan private school. With a sharp and merciless camera, filmmakers/parents Joe and Michele intimately document the struggles as these talented boys deal with stereotypes and identity issues, while their parents juggle high expectations against the social and cultural obstacles their sons face. Convinced that education is the key to success in the 21st century, these families make enormous sacrifices for an elite education. But will the rewards be there?
Formats: Digital Copy, DVD
Running Time: 135 min.
Theme: Arts and Culture, Author's POV, Current Affairs, Education, Family, Human Rights, Media, Personal Story see all »
Language(s): English
Subtitles: English
Director(s): Joe Brewster
Producer(s): Joe Brewster, Michele Stephenson
Available regions: United States, United see all »
American Promise


  • Press Kit
  • "This MASSIVE UNDERTAKING, culled from more than 800 hours of footage, illuminates the mistakes, the challenges and the personal growth of not only the two boys, but of the parents as well."
    The Hollywood Reporter
  • " engrossing portrait of modern parenting."
    The Washington Post
  • "An extraordinary documentary about race, family and education that's at once epic and intimate."
  • "...intimate look at how particular families deal with the great parental challenges of shepherding their children through the all-important educational experience."
    The Los Angeles Times

awards & accolades

  • Sundance Film Festival - Winner - Jury Award

Festival participation

  • Sundance Film Festival 2013

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Additional Info

Production Company: Rada Film Group
Distribution Company: ro*co films

American Promise

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