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
Ajami is the first full length feature film directed by two young Israelis Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani.
They have produced an extraordinary film which features five separate stories set in Ajami, a poor Arab neighborhood situated in the city of Tel-Aviv/Yafo. The many characters are played mostly by non professionals, i.e. are not working actors, and the result gives a documentary feel to the film. Amazingly the level of acting is very high and ensures that the film is completely believable and absorbing from beginning to end. Perhaps the only drawback is the limited time available to develop each main character. The viewer wants to know more about them and their lives but time is limited.
The film shows a part of Israeli society rarely shown in Israeli films (Arab Moslem and Arab Christian families living in Ajami) and the makers are to be commended for their achievement in showing a rather hidden side of our society.
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