A House in Jerusalem

A House in Jerusalem

Palestine | 2023 | 104 min. | Muayad Alayan

A Jewish-British child mourning the death of her mother moves to a house in Jerusalem, only to discover the ghost of an abandoned Palestinian girl in this stirring and supernatural coming-of-age drama. From the filmmakers of SIFF 2018’s The Reports on Sarah and Saleem.

Director Muayad Alayan and Producer Rami Musa Alayan scheduled to attend.

Following the death of her mother in a car accident, ten-year-old Rebecca moves with her father Michael from the UK to Jerusalem in search of a fresh start. There, they take up residence in a villa left to Michael by his father, in a neighborhood of West Jerusalem known as the Valley of the Ghosts. Left to her own devices, Rebecca explores the house and its overgrown yard. In a disused well, she finds a decades-old doll and takes it inside. It isn't long before another little girl—ethereal, pale, dripping wet, invisible to all but Rebecca—comes looking for the doll. After several uncanny appearances, the girl eventually identifies herself as Rasha, a Palestinian forced from the villa along with her entire family during the 1948 War. Determined to help Rasha reunite with her mother, Rebecca sets out to learn more. She embarks on a search that leads her to a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, where she tracks down an elderly dollmaker. Returning to SIFF for the third time, Director Muayad Alayan and his brother, co-writer, and producer Rami Alayan (Love, Theft, and Other Entanglements, The Reports on Sarah and Saleem) are back with their most personal work to date, a story of ghosts and grief and the enduring power of memory.

Justine Barda

  • Director: Muayad Alayan
  • Principal Cast: Johnny Harris, Miley Locke, Sheherazade Makhoul Farrell, Makram J. Khoury, Souad Faress
  • Premiere Status: North American
  • Country: Palestine, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 104 min.
  • Producer: Rachel Robey, Muayad Alayan, Dorothe Beinemeier, Hanneke Niens, Giorgos Karnavas, Alastair Clark, Rami Alayan, Abeer Salman
  • Screenplay: Rami Alayan, Muayad Alayan
  • Cinematographers: Sebastian Bock
  • Editors: Rachel Erskine
  • Music: Alex Simu
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2018), Love, Theft and Other Entanglements (2015), Sacred Stones (co-director) (2011)
  • Language: English, Arabic, Hebrew
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • International Sales: Heretic