Hello Salaam
About IDFA
Hello Salaam
IDFA 2022

Hello Salaam

Hallo salaam
Kim Brand
16 min
Festival history

The mothers of pre-teens Merlijn and Sil are doing voluntary work on Lesbos, where thousands of refugees have become stranded, crossing over from Turkey in unseaworthy boats. During their school vacation, the boys want to see with their own eyes how the refugees are coping, especially the ones that are of their own age. They discuss what it might be like and practice with a translation app, learning how to say things like “peanut butter sandwiches are really tasty” in Arabic or Farsi.

Once there, they’re shocked by the circumstances they find. Merlijn and Sil see the dinghy graveyard and meet families crammed together in temporary shelters. They get along particularly well with a group of Syrian boys. The Dutch boys drink tea with them, build campfires and have snowball fights. In the meantime, they discuss more serious subjects, as well as they can. What’s it like to lose your home and all your belongings? Language and cultural obstacles quickly make way for a friendship without borders.

Screening copy
    Een van de jongens
    Een van de jongens