Promises Written in Water

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Promises Written in Water
Directed byVincent Gallo
Written byVincent Gallo
CinematographyMasanobu Takayanagi
Edited byVincent Gallo
Music byVincent Gallo
Release date
  • September 7, 2010 (2010-09-07) (Venice)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States

Promises Written in Water is a 2010 drama film written, directed, edited, and produced by Vincent Gallo. The cast includes Vincent Gallo, Delfine Bafort, Sage Stallone, Lisa Love and Hope Tomaselli.


"Kevin is a long-time, professional assassin, specializing in the termination of life. Mallory is a wild, poetic, beautiful young woman confronting her terminal illness and eventual suicide. She reaches out to Kevin to take responsibility for her corpse once she passes, requesting his protection of her dead body’s dignity until her cremation. Kevin’s acceptance of this request causes uncomfortable self-reflection and changes the lens through which he views death."[1]



The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival[2] and was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film has never been screened since the two festivals in 2010, and is now unavailable for the public to watch, per Gallo's wishes.[1] In a 2011 interview, Gallo said the film would be "allowed to rest in peace, and stored without being exposed to the dark energies from the public."[3]


The film was not distributed and received generally poor reviews, with Leslie Felperin of Variety calling the film "underwhelming" and "a disappointment".[4] Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film "is an incomprehensible, disappointing effort in which he (Gallo) receives producing, directing, writing, editing, music and acting credits, so there really is no one else to blame if this story about a man who broods on love and death disappears into the waves almost immediately after its festival outings."[5]


Year Award Category Result
2010 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Nominated


  1. ^ a b Jagernauth, Kevin (29 July 2011). "Vincent Gallo Doesn't Plan On Releasing 'Promises Written In Water'". IndieWire.
  2. ^ "Venezia 67". 29 July 2010. Archived from the original on 31 August 2010.
  3. ^ Lim, Dennis (8 June 2012). "R.I.P. 'Promises,' It Was Nice Knowing You". New York Times.
  4. ^ Felperin, Leslie (6 September 2010). "Promises Written in Water". Variety.
  5. ^ Young, Deborah (14 October 2010). "Promises Written in Water — Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter.

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