September 13 (Tuesday)

Ajami (Israel, 2009, 124min.)

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Oscars and Grand Prize winner at the 2010 Boulder International Film Festival, Ajami interweaves five different stories into one dramatic commentary. Written and directed by Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti, Ajami’s pertinent camera angles provide a series of impressions that construct each character in a different light. Ajami is an area in Jaffa, Israel, where Christians, Muslims, Palestinians, Jews, and Arabs are all living and struggling to thrive. An Israeli Arab, Omar (Shahir Kabhaba) must acquire funds to pay a gang, who want to kill off Omar’s entire family as vengeance for the death of one of their men. Omar works with Malek (Ibrahim Frege) in the back of a restaurant. Malek is an illegal Palestinian worker trying to raise money for his mother’s bone marrow transplant surgery. When Malek and Omar’s friend, Binj (Scandar Copti) die from a drug deal gone wrong, the young men seize the opportunity to make some much needed funds off of Binj’s loss; however, the loss quickly evolves into a deadly misunderstanding. Ajami pushes audiences to explore the outcome of hate, bigotry, and violence inside one of the world’s oldest cities.