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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
I attended a 'full house' screening at the Tricycle Cinema in London, having invited a party of 6 people of different ages and backgrounds. The consensus was unanimous, an excellently executed film, showing the rawness and tensions simmering within Israel's Arab & Jewish populations.
In his pre-screening presentation the director correctly focused on one of the core reasons why Jews & Arabs continue to be suspicious of the other...in many ways it is down to the Jews not speaking Arabic and only a few of the Arabs speaking Hebrew. It is amazing that the Israeli government has yet to address this issue.
This is definitely a film which needs to be seen twice in order to comprehend all the various nuances. Two scenes stood out for me...the Judgement scene at the Beduin elder...and Dando's family grieving.
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