This award-winning Hebrew-Arabic film [also nominated for the 2010 Academy Awards in the foreign language film category] presents different aspects of the social, religious and political tension between Palestinian-Arabs, Jews and Christians in Ajami, a neighbourhood in Jaffa, Tel Aviv. The predominantly non-professional cast lends weight to the drama of social realities on the shanty streets of Ajami, powerfully portrayed through a 5-part staccato in non-chronological order, with each part bearing out the facts of the other in different ways.
For those not familiar with war-torn poverty-stricken Palestinian-Israeli landscapes, it is hard to find any features that distinguish one community from another without looking closely at the people, their languages and stories that dichotomize power and powerlessness, state of alarm and security. I had to view it twice over to follow the fast pace and intricate twist of plots, plus speed read the English subtitles!
Do catch this 2009 Israeli film directed by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, who have been reported to differ in their opinions of whether AJAMI is in fact a political or apolitical movie.