This Scorsese-ish depiction of Ajami makes the place seem much worse than it is. I used to teach at an elementary school there, it is a pretty lovely neighborhood on the beach, far from the hotels and commercial tourism of downtown. It is a lot mellower than NYC. I guess there is a lot of crime, but I consider the easy access to drugs to be a plus. I never even heard of anyone getting shot! It's a nice area.3.7 stars
***1/2 Realist Scorsese - type movie with Arabs, Palestinians, Israelians, Arab-Israelians, Christians and Bedouins. The force (or the weakness) of the film is not to identify the Bad Guys. Recommended.
"There’s no prescription for coexistence amid the fateful swirl of passion, cruelty and violence in Ajami. For Copti, Shani and the rest of us, though, the fact that a bunch of Jews and Arabs got together to make this powerful film has to mean something." - Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
This film has left me speechless. I found it moving and complex, and I think the ending is a call for people to become aware, "open their eyes", to the everyday human tragedies that unfold as a result of religious and political hatred. Many characters in the film are at once victims and victimizers, and black and whites melt into grey zones of indeterminacy.
Watching this German-Israeli co-production I had a feeling that I was witnessing an elaborate, self-deluding exculpatory plea for Israel's criminal occupation of Palestine and for Western complicity with it. Well-acted, well-directed, intense, with some moments of insight-- but still the product of a Euro-Israeli "compassionate" imaginary about Arabs that objectifies and stereotypes them in its own way.
I found this a real surprise treat. Despite the improbability of some of the coincidences I was thoroughly drawn in and thought it tackled some of the complexities of the conflicts well. The acting was strong and credible and the non-linear editing added to my enjoyment.
A superb cast and production!
An intensely human and complex mystery, as intricate and cruel as real life; A docu-drama's window view into a place of special pain; God the compassionate and God the merciless !!!! full of mercy. Amid the stones and dust of Palestine, tenderness and self-sacrificial love flourishes, Amen !
Ajami's non-linear convoluted script takes centre stage in detriment of a more compelling and clinical insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is arguably the labyrinthine and extra-long script what lets the film down, a film that tries too hard to tie all the leads losing authenticity as a result.