No Promised Land
Aug 26, 2023
Destiny Soria, John Hall, Jennifer Ugochukwu
After a terrible event, a desperate young woman goes on the run with her child.
The heroine of this story is an unnamed Native American woman (Soria) who works as a waitress and lives inside a caravan in Texas. After meeting a wealthy businessman (Hall), she forms a relationship with him and ends up having his child, a son. The man is actually married and refuses to have anything to do with either of them. Torn apart by his betrayal, the poor heroine goes to extreme measures in order to build a better life for herself and her boy.
This emotional drama has a non-linear narrative. The screenplay constantly alternates between the woman and her toddler son in the rear seats of a car that is driven by an unknown woman (Ugochukwu) and flashbacks of the mother meeting and starting a romance with her eventually no-good partner, raising her child and failing to persuade the father to be part of their lives. Initially, it is not clear why mother and child are in that car and the devastating events that led to that are revealed later. Basically, the flashbacks work as a social drama and the present scenes in the car are where the feature becomes a road movie thriller about survival. The story strongly explores the heroine's emotional deterioration and how much she cares for her child.
Soria dramatically portrays a tragic heroine. She is a character who unwillingly finds herself being a single mother, facing financial difficulties and making desperate decisions in the hope of making things better. Her son is her prime motivation for keeping strong.
The film contains beautiful, melancholic music with wonderful piano melodies which (along with Soria's voice-over) creates quite a dramatic atmosphere. There are various sequences throughout where diegetic sounds disappear and a non-diegetic score dominates. There are short montages and the filmmakers frequently utilise slow motion and dissolve techniques.
This hour-long feature is a dark and heartbreaking story that follows a woman's life going from bad to worse and her determination to protect her child. It is a distressing viewing about desperation, social class differences and lives being destroyed by cruelty, but it also explores parenthood and inner strength.
No Promised Land is available on Tubi at https://tubitv.com/movies/100008386/no-promised-land.