Opening 24 Jan 2019
Yves’ Promise is a moving documentary about a refugee from Cameroon who has left his country and family in search of a better life. He left with the promise of being able to help his family. Now eight years later, Yves is stuck in a kind of limbo in Europe. His family and friends haven’t heard from him and don’t have any idea what has become of him. They don’t know that Yves has twice risked the dangers of traveling to Europe, once being sent back to Cameroon. They are still waiting for him to return home. But Yves hasn’t yet found success and will not return home until he does.
Wanting to understand why Yves won’t return home despite his difficulties living in Spain without papers, director Melanie Gärtner travels to Cameroon and visits his family, bringing video messages from him. With little narration, she lets Yves’ story and promise be told through the voices of others. It becomes clear that the journey is not just his alone. The expectation and responsibility put on him mean that returning unsuccessful would be too shameful and not understood by his family. Despite all of the difficulties, Yves does not give up on his promise, and his search continues. (Alana Leichert)