American Promise

Watch American Promise

  • NR
  • 2012
  • 2 hr 14 min
  • 7.1  (295)
  • 67

American Promise is a powerful and insightful documentary film that follows the lives of two young African-American boys, Idris Brewster and Seun Summers, as they attend a prestigious private school in New York City. The film, which was directed and produced by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, covers a 13-year timeframe from kindergarten to high school graduation for Idris and Seun.

The film begins with Idris and Seun's first day of kindergarten at the Dalton School, an elite private school in Manhattan. Their parents, Joe and Michele, are determined to give their boys the best education possible, and believe that attending Dalton will give them opportunities that they would not have otherwise. However, despite the school's reputation for diversity, Idris and Seun quickly discover that they are the only black boys in their grade. Over the course of the film, the boys grapple with issues of identity, race, and class as they navigate the challenges of being black in a predominantly white environment.

As the years progress, we see the boys grow and develop in different ways. Idris is outgoing and ambitious, and aspires to become a doctor. Seun, on the other hand, is more reserved and struggles with academics, eventually transferring to a public school. Despite their differences, both boys face the daunting task of finding their place in a school that often feels foreign and unwelcoming.

As the film progresses, the viewers get a peek into the lives of Idris and Seun's families, their struggles, and their successes. Joe and Michele, both successful professionals, experience tension in their marriage as they attempt to balance their demanding careers with their responsibility as parents. Moreover, they begin to question the value of their sons' education and wonder if Dalton truly offers the best path to success.

American Promise also touches on the broader societal issues of race, class, and education in America. Through interviews with Dalton faculty and other experts, the film explores the complicated dynamics of diversity in schools and the challenges faced by black students in predominantly white environments. The film also shows the broader socio-economic backdrop of New York City and the stark differences between private schools like Dalton and public schools in less affluent neighborhoods.

Overall, American Promise is a deeply moving and thought-provoking film that provides a nuanced look at the challenges faced by black students in America. Through its intimate portrait of Idris and Seun and their families, the film gives viewers a window into the hopes, dreams, and struggles of a community that is often overlooked or ignored. The film raises important questions about education, race, and class in America and challenges us to think about how we can work towards a more just and equitable society.

American Promise is a 2012 documentary with a runtime of 2 hours and 14 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 67.

American Promise
Where to Watch American Promise
American Promise is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Vudu Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent American Promise for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 14 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (295)
  • Metascore