10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

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





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

Muayad ALAYAN is een Palestijnse filmmaker en cameraman gevestigd in Jeruzalem. Hij volgde een filmopleiding in San Francisco en zijn afstudeerproject, de documentaire Exiles in Jerusalem (2005), won de Kodak-prijs in dezelfde stad. Zijn korte filmdebuut Lesh Sabreen? (2009), gemaakt met en over de jongeren uit het dorp waar hij is opgegroeid, werd wereldwijd vertoond en bekroond op filmfestivals. Alayan is medeoprichter van Palcine Productions, een collectief van filmmakers en audiovisuele kunstenaars in Jeruzalem en Bethlehem. Ook heeft hij film en cinematografie gedoceerd op verschillende academies in Palestina. Zijn eerste speelfilm Love, Theft and Other Entanglements (2015) beleefde zijn wereldpremière in Berlijn.



(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)