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Ajami is an area of Jaffa where Arabs, Palestinians, Jews and Christians try to live together in an atmosphere that is -to say the least - electric. Omar, an Israeli Arab, struggles to save his family from elimination by a gang of extortionists. He also courts a beautiful Christian girl, Hadir, but marrying her is far from obvious. Malek, an illegal Palestinian worker, tries to collect enough money to pay for his mother's operation. Dando, an Israeli cop, does his utmost to trace his missing brother who may have been killed by Palestinians. Binj, Malek and Omar's Arab friend, suffers from being rejected by other members of his community for mixing with an Israeli girl. All of them will meet violence, most of the time ... with violence. Written by
Ajami is a masterpiece, a film of the rare quality you look for when hitting the cinema. The achievements of this film are far greater than any shortcomings or glitches people may find.
As someone who's been to many of the exact locations (or similar) the film portrays, I was thrilled to see how well the film managed to connect these geographical dots together and create a very specific visual language.
Not often you see so many diverse landscapes and locations in one film without the diversity being annoying and decorative. In a Ajami's case, the wide selection of locations enhances the strong linkage: a small village near Nablus, the city of Tel-Aviv, a Bedouin encampment can be all linked by a single event.
By going in digging backwards into the events, it seems like only more questions arise, more events happen to be linked and the reality happens to be far different to what we expect.
This is the biggest quality of the film: It manages to open the eyes of those who thought their eyes were open already.
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