The Promise

The Promise
reż. Marcus Vetter, Karin Steinberger/Germany, USA/2016/119 min.

The gruesome murders of Nancy and Derek Haysom in 1985 were a media sensation. The Haysoms were wealthy, respected members of Virginia society, and the murder conviction of their daughter Elizabeth and her German boyfriend Jens Soering sent shock-waves through the rural community of Bedford County.

Elizabeth and Jens had met in a university program for high achieving students. She was a product of European boarding schools, he was the son of a diplomat. After being arrested in London, England, for passing bad checks in 1986, they were both extradited to the United States and have now spent over 30 years behind bars. This beautifully crafted film reveals a mismanaged, or perhaps completely corrupted, judicial process. This was the first criminal trial held in front of TV cameras was the first high profile, international case tried in a small town.


  • projection time:
    119 min.
  • country/year:
    Germany, USA/2016
  • director:
    Marcus Vetter, Karin Steinberger
  • pictures:
  • production:
  • selected festivals and awards:
    IFF Rotterdam 2017, IDFA Amsterdam 2016, FF Denver 2016, IFF Munich 2016, FF Virginia 2016

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