Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling ... See full summary »
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
There is the sensitive kid thrust into a situation that requires more maturity and smarts than normal for his age, there is the couple whose love incurs disapproval because it crosses ethnic lines, there is the authority figure who protects you today but may turn against you tomorrow... the problem is, this movie has two of each of those. The cast of characters is huge and hard to keep track of, the plot is artificially discontinuous, and in short if you want to get the movie straight, you'd better be ready to see it twice. Which you may want to, because the acting is convincing and although the characters are used from time to time to make a clear and didactic sociopolitical point, they win considerable sympathy from the viewer-- without, for the most part, being oversentimentalized.
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