Promise at Dawn

La promesse de l'aube


Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 5:00pm
Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2:30pm
Plaza Frontenac Cinema
Plaza Frontenac Cinema

“Promise at Dawn” tells the wildly romantic story of Romain Gary, one of France’s most famous novelists and the sole writer to have won the Goncourt Prize for French literature two times (for “The Roots of Heaven” in 1956 and, under the pseudonym Émile Ajar, “The Life Before Us” in 1975). Starring Pierre Niny as the adult Gary and Charlotte Gainsbourg as his irrepressibly doting mama, the film ranges from his childhood in Poland and adolescence in Nice to his years as a student in Paris and training as a pilot during World War II. Variety writes: “However abetted by fiction, Romain Gary’s autobiographical novel ‘Promise at Dawn’ is more of a roaring yarn than most memoirs have a right to be: Covering over 20-odd years in the celebrated French author’s early life, it’s a bildungsroman that covers pluckily overcome poverty in Poland, sensual education in the south of France and WWII aviation derring-do in Africa and Europe, its many colorful vignettes sewn through by the fierce love between Gary and his vivacious single mother Nina.”

131 min.

Directed by

Eric Barbier



Film Category

International Spotlight Robert French and French-Language Focus


Literature War



Sponsored by

Jane M. & Bruce P. Robert Charitable Foundation