Archives / 1988 Sundance Film Festival

Promised Land

Director: Michael Hoffman

Screenwriters: Michael Hoffman

Institute History

Description

Shot on location in Utah, Michael Hoffman’s (Restless Natives, USFF, 1986) Promised Land is a spare and radiant film that is a monument to the lost dreams and darkened souls of this country’s heartland.

This contemporary saga is based on a true story. The promise of the future is rapidly moving to the present for this group of graduating seniors. Mary (Tracy Pollan), the All-American Beauty and cheerleader is going away to college on a basketball scholarship. Their friend, Danny Rivers (Keifer Sutherland), the soft-spoken “Senator,” has decided to leave school to pursue the promise of a job in the southwest.

The story picks up a couple of years down the road as Christmas approaches. Davey is now on the small-town police force. Mary is still going to college but is expected home for the holidays. Danny is also returning home for the holidays with his new wife Bev (Meg Ryan) in tow. The intersection of these four lives provides the impetus to the story. Theirs is a shared destiny that none could have foreseen.

— Lawrence Smith

Screening Details

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