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American Promise


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?


  • The Hollywood Reporter
    "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 Washington Post
    " engrossing portrait of modern parenting."
    "An extraordinary documentary about race, family and education that's at once epic and intimate."
  • The Los Angeles Times
    "...intimate look at how particular families deal with the great parental challenges of shepherding their children through the all-important educational experience."

Festival Participation

  • Sundance Film Festival - 2013
    Winner - Jury Award

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

ROCO Films Logo
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