Cambodia International Film Festival


Promised poster


By Christian Elliott

United States/2023/23 min


Promised” is a poignant drama designed to raise awareness about human trafficking through the story of Seila and Chantrea, two Cambodian girls ensnared in its brutal reality. The film navigates between their hopeful beginnings and the subsequent nightmare, focusing on Seila’s struggle as a pregnant teenager in a foreign hospital, her child cruelly snatched away at birth. Flashbacks reveal their journey from a Cambodian village into the hands of traffickers, promising easy work abroad but delivering only separation and suffering. Seila’s resilience emerges as she seeks help, leading to her eventual escape with assistance from A21 and the Cambodian government. Though she secures justice against her trafficker, the search for her child and Chantrea’s fate underscores the ongoing battle against trafficking. “Promised” aims to shed light on this dark issue, emphasizing the power of awareness, advocacy, and the indomitable human spirit.