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8th edition: 10 April - 14 April 2019

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2018 Feature Film)

Muayad ALAYAN | Palestine, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico | 2018 | color | DCP | 127' | Arabic, Hebrew, English | e.s.

By having an affair, Jewish Sarah and Palestinian Saleem risk much more than just their marriages. Their relationship attracts attention from the security services on both sides of the Israeli 'wall', who are convinced there’s more to it than mutual attraction. 

Furtive fucking in the back of a van: this is what Sarah and Saleem’s relationship consists of. A few times a week, when Sarah has closed her café and Saleem is done with his delivery rounds. It might be better if they didn’t do it – they are both married, and so are risking their domestic happiness. But what makes the affair even more daring is that she's Jewish and he's Palestinian. In divided Jerusalem, this goes way beyond the private. Then Sarah and Saleem are seen together in a club in Bethlehem, and it’s not long before Saleem has the security services from both sides breathing down his neck. A simple extramarital affair becomes a spy sensation, which is given an extra political dimension by the fact that Sarah’s husband is a high-ranking officer in the Israeli army. 

This crippling supervision of the personal – in the form of state surveillance and social control – on both sides of the wall dividing Israel and Palestine was previously tackled by director Muayad Alayan in several short films, as well as in his feature Love, Theft and Other Entanglements (2015). His brother and regular filmmaking partner Rami wrote the screenplay for The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, their second feature, which leads us step by step into a world where it is all but impossible not to get caught up in politics.

Winner Hubert Bals Fund Audience Award, IFFR 2018. For the screenplay of this film Rami Alayan was awarded IFFR's Special Jury Award for exceptional artistic achievement.

Place: The Cinemas 4

Date: 11 April 2018

Time: 20:30

Duration: 1:40

Place: The Cinemas 4

Date: 14 April 2018

Time: 15:30

Duration: 1:40

Place: The Cinemas 4

Date: 15 April 2018

Time: 18:15

Duration: 1:40

Year in Festival
Sebastian Bock
Maisa Abd Elhadi
Adeeb Safadi
Sivane Kretchner
Ishai Golan
Sameer Qumsiyeh
Muayad Alayan
Rami Alayan
Hans de Wolf
Hanneke Niens
Rebekka Garrido
Rodrigo Iturralde
Georgina Gonzalez
Alejandro Duran
Production Company
PalCine Productions
Manderley Films
Production Design
Bashar Hassuneh
Heretic Outreach
Rami Alayan
Sound Design
Giannis Giannakopoulos
Costas Fylaktidis
Year of Production

Muayad ALAYAN is a Palestinian filmmaker and cinematographer based in Jerusalem. He studied film in San Francisco and his graduation project, the documentary Exiles in Jerusalem (2005), won the Kodak Award in the same city. His short film debut Why Sabreen? (2009), made with and about the youth of his home village, was screened and won awards at film festivals worldwide. Alayan is co-founder of Palcine Productions, a collective of filmmakers and audiovisual artists in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. In addition, he has worked as a film and cinematography instructor at several academic institutions in Palestine. His debut feature Love, Theft and Other Entanglements (2015) premiered in Berlin. 


(selection) Exiles in Jerusalem (2005, short doc), Lesh Sabreen?/Why Sabreen? (2009, short), Mute (2010, short), Sacred Stones (2011, short doc, co-dir), Al-hob wa al-sariqa wa mashakel ukhra/Love, Theft and Other Entanglements (2015), The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2018)