Ajami

عجمي - Ajami

ʻAg'ami

DVD - 2010 | Arabic
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The lives of two brothers who fear assassination, a young refugee working illegally to cover his mother's medical expenses, and a cop obsessed with finding his missing brother.

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Elley
Jan 14, 2015

I enjoyed this foreign film and loved the way the storyline unfolded. There was never a dull moment and tragedy seemed to be the cloud that followed the main character.

a
afraalmussawir
Jul 14, 2013

Unlike some other commentators here, I don't think religious conflict is truly a motivating factor in this movie; sure, the Christian father forbade his daughter from continuing to see the Muslim boy, but for all his talk about religious differences, I got the feeling that he -- like fathers everywhere -- would have disapproved of ANYone his daughter was seeing. The Arab-Israeli conflict wasn't really a force in this movie either; it just set up circumstances where people crossed the border between the West Bank and Israel illegally to work in Israel -- it's no different from countless other international situations where people risk imprisonment because of desperate economic situations. An underground economy develops that involves extortion, assassination, extra-judicial systems, illegal dealings in drugs and firearms, violence, death, grief and loss. This movie doesn't address *why* people from the West Bank risked so much to go work illegally in Israel or what the film-makers made of the political situation. Rather, the film focuses on the characters; 'Shakespearean' is a good way to describe it. The plot is confusing because the movie is divided into segments (called 'chapters'), each told from a different character's point of view; it's non-linear, but it all comes together in the end. Pay attention to the details and you will see it; don't read the Wikipedia article because it is inaccurate and will leave you even more confused than if you had just relied on what you see going on in the movie. You must be patient: it doesn't start to make sense as a coherent whole until the end of the fourth "chapter."

b
BertBailey
Jul 12, 2013

Interesting plot supports an even more interesting glimpse at of life in a Palestinian quarter of Israel, their tribal norms of justice, the way they adore and admire their women, like anyone else, yet treat them like cattle all the same, as few others do. Though they inhabit such a different realm, they still eat and sleep and bleed like the rest of us. The cinema verite is done well. The reduction of characters to types comes dangerously close to the way Leon Uris does it, though not quite. Thus, Palestinians are tempted by need to illicit behaviour, while the Jewish Israelis maintain, through their policing, any traces of the land's rule of law and order. And yet the movie shows up the two peoples' indistinguishability, primarily because religion plays a crucial role in everyone's life. Struggles between belonging and pulling away culturally come into play, and there's a lot more going on as well: Jewish parents in anguish as their son, a soldier, is being held prisoner; cocaine changing hands and taking lives - and perhaps a bit too much plotting at the cost of a firmer engagement with the characters. Recommended.

v
Virgilias
Oct 04, 2012

Didn't like this movie. You never got to know much about the characters so everytime one got killed off you didn't really care. Not much of a plot - just seemed scattered. I like foreign movies for the scenery of different countries so that is the only reason I gave it one star.

g
gemini07
Jun 07, 2012

Intriguing interweaving of different cultures and the consequences to all when "ghettoizing" through oppression. I really enjoyed how the story was told, through the lives of four characters, to illustrate the various perspectives.

o
oldfryup
Jul 31, 2011

This has similarities to "City Of God"(Brazil). Depressing but very engrossing. it's ‘no way out’ for all of them, bound by religion, honour and family ties whether Muslim Jew or Christian. I’m glad I watched it all, but I wouldn’t enjoy watching it a second time. Excellent acting by many of the amateur cast. It’s very real

o
ohialehuadef
Mar 29, 2011

An incredible and tragic movie, even more so knowing that most of the actors were amateurs. Excellent documentary material.

j
joseph
Dec 06, 2010

Fair - Ajami (2009) [Foreign - Arabic/Hebrew (Israel)] 120 min. Uneven film highlighting a series of interchangeable stories centered in Tel Aviv. The stories mainly revolve around gang warfare in both the Arab and Jewish communities. The film started off incredibly well with a frightening shocker of an opening but then loses its focus as more and more characters are introduced. It began to drag in the second act and never really picked up the momentum of the first act. The film was nominated for a Foreign Picture Oscar in 2010.

g
geomillar
Dec 05, 2010

Now, don't let my 3 stars put you off. This is brilliant filming. I just was not in the mood for a violent Arabic-Israeli confrontation that spells sadness and disaster from beginning to end. If you are in the mood for a heart wrenching story, then pop in the DVD and hold onto someone you love.

j
jb1980
Nov 09, 2010

This drama explores the realities of the Arab population in Israel, but it also deals with the lives of Israeli Jews. The library index categories should reflect this fact.

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gemini07
Jun 07, 2012

gemini07 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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