Ajami

The film is the debut from Israeli and Palestinian co-directors Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti, whose location filming, use of nonprofessional actors and balanced perspective lend a palpable authenticity to a complex, cross-cultural drama — set in Jaffa’s multi-ethnic Ajami neighborhood, home to Jews, Muslims and Christians. The repercussions of a revenge killing reveal the cultural and religious tensions simmering beneath the surface: two young brothers fear assassination after their uncle wounds a local criminal; a young Palestinian refugee works illegally in Israel to finance his mother’s surgery; an Israeli woman and her affluent Palestinian boyfriend dream of building a life together; and a Jewish cop is obsessed with finding his missing brother. AJAMI premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and has won numerous prizes at festivals worldwide, including the Cannes, London, Jerusalem and Thessaloniki film festivals.