16/05/2010 05:28

Exit Point selection presents powerful crime drama “Ajami”

Ajami”, a multiple winner which even received an Academy Award nominaton for best foreign feature in 2010 is a story set on the streets of Ajami, region of Tel Aviv, where a mixture of cultures live in animosity. Film gives an account of five different stories, fatal clashes of cultures and numerous conflicts which result from those encounters.

A young Israeli (Shahir Kabaha) fighting a blood feud that threatens his family, a Palestinian refugee (Ibrahim Frege) working illegally to finance a life-saving surgery, a Jewish police detective (Eran Naim) obsessed with finding his missing brother, and an affluent Palestinian (Scandar Copti) dreaming of a future with his Jewish girlfriend. As their stories intersect – and the film’s narrative shifts back and forth in time – we witness a dramatic collision of different worlds and the tragic consequences of enemies living as neighbors.

The majority of roles are played by amateur actors, which at times creates an impression of a documentary. Every community speaks its own language, while scenes where they meet use a combination of languages, creating a natural environment that exists in those mixed neighborhoods. Film was very well received in Israel. It won Ophir Award from Israeli Film and Television Academy, thus beating Lebanon, a winner of Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival.

“Ajami” has been compared with Pier Paolo Pasolini’s earlier works and some new achievements like “Gomorra” and “City of God”. This is a first film shot mostly in Arabic that Israel entered in a competition for best foreign feature and which received a nomination for this prestigious award.