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Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani collaborated on this independent drama, which examines how the troubled relationship between their countries colors everyday life in the Middle East. Nasri (Fouad Habash) is a teenager whose family is in crisis: his uncle got into an altercation with a local crime boss, and in reprisal, his cousin has been murdered. The shooters, it seems, originally intended to kill Nasri's younger brother, Omar (Shahir Kabaha), in lieu of the cousin. Abu Elias (Youssef Sahwani), a restaurateur and respected member of the community, steps in to negotiate.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is vividly challenging, utterly inclusive and heartfelt cinema. It's not only gripping to watch, but it'll open your eyes to the intractable human conundrums behind the blood-stained headlines."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"The fact that these two Israelis from opposite camps worked together to make this movie is as important as the movie itself."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards, Film.com
"Una contundente ópera prima, narrada en forma fragmentaria a la manera de Amores Perros o Crash, que retrata con brutal honestidad la vida en un conflictivo vecindario de Jaffa. Estupendo elenco de actores no profesionales."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"A confident contemporary crime thriller that, yes, may rely on perhaps a few too many plot coincidences to hang together, but otherwise offers a bracing insight into a troubled situation without hectoring us with insipid platitudes."
‑ Alistair Harkness, Scotsman
"The pattern of connections and coincidences is a little overschematic, but the movie has energy, especially in the grippingly real shooting scene at the beginning."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"The performances are searingly intense, all delivered by non-professionals cast to type and extemporizing within the parameters of the script. They take the play out of acting, and the effect is unvarnished realism."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"A compelling drama about prejudice and folly."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Gripping modern-day drama about crime and tensions among the Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Stories of violence, revenge and corruption smartly told by next-gen foreign filmmakers"
‑ Jeff Meyers, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"A rare film that will force you to confront your own prejudices."
‑ Matt Bochenski, Little White Lies
"Any given half-hour of the film has dramatic impact; at two hours, it's a power punch to the gut."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"It's an admirably even-handed portrait of life in an occupied ghetto that is bounded by checkpoints. Everyone we meet is a more or less honorably motivated victim of circumstance."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"... acutely insightful about the social divisions within Israel, but it examines them without scolding or sentimentality."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seanax.com
"The actors, every one of them new to their craft, make the everydayness of the picture indelible and real."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Ajami has an appealingly rough-edged, authentic feel to it, thanks to some strong location work and the fact that the cast is drawn largely from non-professionals and real life locals."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
More reviews for Ajami on Rotten Tomatoes