American Promise
American Promise (2013)

The American Promise journey began in 1999, when filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson enrolled their son Idris in the Dalton School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan after the private institution boldly strengthened its… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 18, 2013
DVD Release Date: September 2, 2014
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Critic Score: 70% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
John Anderson

A misbegotten project, as well as a missed opportunity.

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Stephanie Merry
Washington Post

The fact that the pair pulls off the nearly 21 / 2-hour run time without making the audience tire of the subjects is a feat itself.

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Christopher Campbell

Doesn't hold your hand as it reaches what it's conveying. It's a difficult doc that plays easy.

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Peter Keough
Boston Globe

Not only provides illuminating insights into racial and cultural issues, but explores family dynamics common to all.

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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

I'm glad I saw this movie because it allowed me to spend time with two engaging boys whose young lives are worth chronicling. But those lives can't bear the symbolic weight the filmmakers place on them. Nor should they have to.

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Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto

f Idris is different because he's African American, he stands out even more because he has a camera crew following him to class.

Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

By the end you can't help but wonder whether it was a good idea to keep the youngsters under camera scrutiny for more than 12 years.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

A remarkable documentary, though only partially for the reason its creators intended.

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Says a lot about race, color, class, competition, and plain human nature in success-driven contemporary urban America.

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