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“The Reports on Sarah & Saleem”




Review by John Delia, Sr.

If you are wanting a melodrama based on true events that is very different, then seek out the movie The Reports on Sarah & Saleem. The film takes place in modern day opposites Israel and Palestine. Although quite long and drawn out, the movie tells a unique story that involves adultery and revenge. The acing is very good and believable, but the direction could have worked better with a script that brought it to an end quicker and avoided predictability.

In the Middle East the cities of Jerusalem in Israel and Bethlehem in Palestine are neighboring. Crossovers between the two cites while are checked, are very lax. With jobs being scarce Saleem (Adeeb Safadi), a Palestinian living with his pregnant wife, has a job outside his home base delivering wares to café’s in Israel. One of his daily stops is a café owned by Sarah a Jew living with her military husband in Jerusalem.

Adeeb Safadi as Saleem and Sivane Kretchner as Sarah in The Reports on Sarah & Saleem

Well, being no other way to set up the story without spoilers, you will probably guess what will go on from there. And my first paragraph much like the trailer for the film will have determined which way the movie’s going. What is distinctive about the film however, is that you almost want to side with both characters on the lust that burns between them. But, the lovers are committing to a road with on return as the division of politics, culture and beliefs is so blatant between countries, it’s almost absurd.

Director Muayad Alayan does make believers out of us, especially since the characters are so likable and have such great chemistry. But it’s not enough to carry the long winded film that attempts to put decades of hate and war between the two counties aside while they figure this true event out. Even the twist comes as no shock and your left with the wonder if the couples, in reality, were just too dumb and got themselves caught up in a mess.

Adeeb Safadi as Saleem and Sivane Kretchner as Sarah in The Reports on Sarah & Saleem

There’s not much more to say except that the cinematography of the hillside villages are brilliant. It’s as much a travelogue as it’s a drama, and there’s some educational and historical value as well.
The Reports on Sarah & Saleem has not been rated by the MPAA but contains language, sex and some violence. The movie plays out in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles that are quite easy to read. Not for immature children, but for those who like a good racy love story it’s a winner.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Very melodramatic and that’s a good thing for a change. (2.5 out of 5 stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Adeeb Safadi, Sivane Kretchner, Ishai Golan,  Maisa
Abd Elhadi
Directed by: Muayad Alayan
Written by: Rami Alayan
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Based on a True Story
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, language, sex,
Running Time: 2 hrs. 7 min.
Opening Date: July 12, 2019
Distributed by: DADA Films
Released in: Standard, Color, In Arabic, English and Hebrew with English subtitles


Miami: Coral Gables Art Cinema
Fort Lauderdale: Gateway
Palm Beach County: Regal Shadowood/Boca Raton, Living Room Theatres/Boca
Raton, Movies of Delray, Movies of Lake Worth

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