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Directed by Eric Barbier

France 2017 131 mins. In French, Polish, English, Spanish with English subtitles

“Nominated for five César Awards, Promise at Dawn is the sweeping adaptation of French novelist Romain Gary’s beloved memoir of exotic globetrotting and an impassioned mother-son bond. Spanning over 20 years in the celebrated writer and diplomat’s extraordinary life, this lavish epic follows Gary (Pierre Niney) from childhood poverty in Poland, to his education in south France and exploits as a WWII aviator. This mélange of rich vignettes is seen through the prism of a problematic relationship with his eccentric, domineering mother Nina (Charlotte Gainsbourg in a stunning turn), who pushes beleaguered Gary to fulfill his potential. While her overwhelming love drives his ambition and is instrumental to his fame, his constant need for her approval proves a suffocating burden. Sparkling with meticulous cinematography and production design, this breathtaking saga contemplates the complex emotional truths of a parent’s self-sacrifice and impossible dreams for a child.”—Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.