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
Astonishing that this is a debut feature from two young directors. The film, named for the Jaffa neighborhood where most of it takes place, chronicles the story of several neighborhood residents who tread through life amid rampant crime, strict Arab family structures and rules, clan law, revenge killings, harsh police and racism, and the growing Jewish presence in the neighborhood. It could have easily fallen onto the abundant clichés which generally characterize films that delve on this subject matter - but instead, there are no fingers pointed, no blame set and no far-fetched allegories. The focal point is always on individual human beings, and the injustices and tragedies that constrict their paths.
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