Down 15,790 this week

Ajami (2009)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,682 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 30 user | 99 critic | 22 from

Ajami is the religiously mixed community of Muslims and Christians in Tel Aviv. These are five stories about the everyday life in Ajami.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Instant Video


IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 28 Dec 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 03 Jun 2012
a list of 42 titles
created 25 Sep 2013
a list of 49 titles
created 08 Jan 2014
a list of 48 titles
created 27 Jul 2014

Related Items

Search for "Ajami" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Ajami (2009)

Ajami (2009) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ajami.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Beaufort (2007)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of a group of Israeli soldiers stationed in an outpost prior to the withdrawal of forces of 2000.

Director: Joseph Cedar
Stars: Alon Aboutboul, Adi Adouan, Yaakov Ahimeir
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

About a Palestinian girl of 17 who wants to get married to the man of her own choosing. Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: she must either choose a husband ... See full summary »

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Stars: Clara Khoury, Khalifa Natour, Ismael Dabbag
Footnote (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are father and son as well as rival professors in Talmudic Studies. When both men learn that Eliezer will be lauded for his work, their complicated relationship reaches a new peak.

Director: Joseph Cedar
Stars: Shlomo Bar-Aba, Lior Ashkenazi, Aliza Rosen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A romantic drama about a working-class woman and her experiences traveling back home.

Director: Annemarie Jacir
Stars: Suheir Hammad, Saleh Bakri, Riyad Ideis
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Fausta is suffering from a rare disease called the Milk of Sorrow, which is transmitted through the breast milk of pregnant women who were abused or raped during or soon after pregnancy. ... See full summary »

Director: Claudia Llosa
Stars: Magaly Solier, Susi Sánchez, Efraín Solís
Paradise Now (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Stars: Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal
Checkpoint (2011)
Short | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Suleiman, an eleven year old Palestinian boy, lives in a small village in the Gaza strip. Every month, he goes with his father to the ruins of a destroyed village. Though he doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: Ruben Amar
Stars: Abdallah El Akal, Hussein Yassin Mahajne, Zaki Hinnawi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the... See full summary »

Director: Eran Riklis
Stars: Hiam Abbass, Makram Khoury, Clara Khoury
Bethlehem I (2013)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant. Shuttling back and forth between conflicting points of view, the... See full summary »

Director: Yuval Adler
Stars: Tsahi Halevi, Shadi Mar'i, Hitham Omari
Jaffa (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the city of Jaffa; a young girl plans to run away with her secret lover, when a tragedy forever changes the course of their lives.

Director: Keren Yedaya
Stars: Dana Ivgy, Moni Moshonov, Ronit Elkabetz
Omar (2013)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young Palestinian freedom fighter agrees to work as an informant after he's tricked into an admission of guilt by association in the wake of an Israeli soldier's killing.

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Stars: Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Eyad Hourani
Lemon Tree (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemontree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down.

Director: Eran Riklis
Stars: Hiam Abbass, Rona Lipaz-Michael, Ali Suliman


Credited cast:
Fouad Habash ...
Nisrine Rihan ...
Elias Saba ...
Youssef Sahwani ...
Abu George Shibli ...
Ibrahim Frege ...
Hilal Kabob ...
Eran Naim ...
Dando Ben David
Sigal Harel ...
Dando's sister
Tamar Yerushalmi ...
Dando's mother
Moshe Yerushalmi ...
Dando's father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ghassan Ashkar


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 Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

17 September 2009 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Adzami  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$35,792 (USA) (5 February 2010)


$621,240 (USA) (20 August 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most of the scenes in this film are improvised. Often the actors didn't even know what's going to happen. See more »


Featured in The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Israel's mean streets
21 February 2010 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

Ajami is a first film by the team of Scandar Copti, an Israeli Arab (with a Christian family name), and Yaron Shani, an Israeli Jew. It gained recognition at Cannes and in Israel; and is nominated for the Best Foreign Oscar. Using locally recruited non-actors, shooting in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, which has become a mostly Arab ghetto outpost of Tel Aviv, 'Ajami' is full of improvisation and hand-held camera work that give it an intense feeling of immediacy -- and seethes with action disturbing enough to leave you feeling bruised. Israeli cinema is remarkable for a tiny country; it's a pity more Arabs outside Israel can't see this film. Despite the myriad hostilities and misunderstandings 'Ajami' depicts -- between Palestinians from the territories and Israeli Arabs; Arab Christians and Arab Muslims; Israelis and Arabs; rich and poor; old and young -- there is hope in the fact that an Arab and a Jew could team up for such passionate film-making.

'Ajami' interweaves multiple story-lines with a documentary feel using a large cast and, to make matters more complicated but also underline interconnections, it's divided into chapters that are not quite in chronological order so some events are seen again, from a different angle the second time. Most of the scenes are in Arabic but some are in Hebrew or a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic. All the location inter-titles and the end credits are rigorously both Hebrew and Arabic -- a practice not uncommon in Israeli cinema, but especially resonant here.

The action begins with a drive-by shooting -- of the wrong person. A young boy, Nasri (Fouad Habash), who narrates the film, his soft voice giving it a kind of clarity and delicacy, is present when his cousin is shot while working on a car in the street. The hit man meant to get Nasri's brother Omar (Shahir Kabaha), as revenge for Nasri's uncle's killing of an extortionist. Omar is now clearly in mortal danger.

The neighborhood leader and restaurant owner Abu Elias (Youssef Sahwani) arranges a deal-brokering among village elders at a bedouin camp where men bid back and forth as to how much protection or payoff money is required for Omar to stay alive. Omar can't possibly raise the sum finally arrived upon, but he's indentured at Abu Elias' restaurant; and there, Omar turns out to be in love with his boss' daughter Hadir (Ranin Karim), a serious no-no, since her family is Christian and Omar's is Muslim. Next there arrives a bright-eyed and innocent teenager, Malek (Ibrahim Frege) who sneaks in from the occupied territories and is an illegal worker in the restaurant, an Arab exploited by an Arab, the harsh Abu Elias. Malek also has an impossible financial burden, needing to raise many thousands to pay for a bone marrow transplant for his seriously ill mother.

Eventually both Omar and Malek are drawn into trying to deal dope to raise money, against the strong objections of Nasri, and totally against the wishes of Abu Elias, who wishes to appear to function within the law, even if he doesn't.

Meanwhile there are the Israeli and near-Israeli parts of the story. Dishonest Israeli cop Dando (Eran Naim) appears both as a bastard, when persecuting the boys who're clumsily attempting to sell cocaine, and a softy, when it comes to the disappearance of his younger brother from the army, perhaps captured by Palestinians, an event that devastates his family (these are the all-Hebrew scenes). The Arab co-director Copti himself plays Binj, a Palestinian who speaks fluent Hebrew and has a non-Arabic speaking Jewish girlfriend. He is pressured by his Arab friends for this, and his life turns tragic when he holds drugs for the others after his brother has stabbed a Jewish neighbor in an argument over noisy animals, and the cops manhandle him, with Dando on hand in his bad-cop role. This sequence about Binj seems to dramatize the futility of cross-over dreams in this harsh world. (The problems faced by Arabs living in a Hebrew-speaking Israeli environment has also been dealt with in the hit Israeli sitcom "Arab Work.")

It doesn't necessarily seem as though Dando is more dangerous, in a sense, for the young Palestinians than the brutish Abu Elias, who threatens to break Omar's bones if he continues his courtship of Hadir. Partly it is the elders who appear as the villains, more threatening here than Israeli checkpoint guards.

One has to grapple with all these plot elements to follow 'Ajami.' The intersections get complicated, and the film is a bit under-edited at two full hours, but there is a wealth of cultural material that gets across along with the insistent problems and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness for young Arabs. There is great warmth among friends and family members of all stripes. But even fun moments seem framed in scariness, like a birthday celebration for Malek which he's sent to by threatening him that the "government" (الحكومة, i.e. police) is after him. Even the birthday present they give Malek, an electrified tennis racket, has an edge of menace. 'Ajami' doesn't stop for a breath or a moment of happiness: it succeeds in convincing you that isn't possible.

Further proof of that impossibility came early this month (February 2010) and life imitated art when Scandar Copti's brother Tony, a supporting actor in the film, was arrested after Israeli police accused some Ajami teenagers of hiding drugs who said they were only burying a dog. This led to a brawl in which Tony Copti and another brother were arrested and hauled off to the police station for questioning, according to a 'Haaretz' article.

24 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
my understanding of the ending: jollyroger200
Ending theme krijes7
Drugs: Fake or Real? raschs
Music in the nightclub scene wolverhampton
Congratulations To Ajami jansteam-1
Nice film....just a little too long... Cat_of_Glory
Discuss Ajami (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: