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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 noticed that one reviewer said that this film was for all tastes. Well, I cannot see that at all. The film is pretty depressing and violent--and I'd never recommend it to anyone who is depressed or who doesn't want to see a film like this. It's gritty, tough and not something for all tastes. However, it was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (i.e, the Oscar folks) and was nominated for Best Foreign Language movie.
This film is very unusual because it is seen from several different viewpoints. I never would have imagined an Israeli film where the main characters are divided up into chapters and each one stars such different people--such as Palestinian Muslims, Palestinian Christians as well as Jews. This is the best thing about the film--it humanizes everyone and shows motivation of everyone. None of them are evil, exactly---just people for good or for bad.
As far as the story goes, here's where it gets depressing. Different folks NEED money and need it fast--such as the young man who must gather an astronomical sum to keep a violent gang from wiping out his family and another who needs to pay for his mother's life-saving surgery. What these folks do to try to get the money as well as the sad story of the dead Jewish young man all make for a compelling but incredibly depressing story. Death abounds and life is cheap in this film.
Overall, it IS well made and the acting is quite nice. But I just found myself feeling awful by the time is was finished. Maybe you'll get more out of it than me...I dunno.
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