The First Arabic Language Movie to Portray Israel at Oscars
Ajami was co-written, directed, and produced by Palestinians and Jewish-Israelis, and was the first Arabic language film to portray Israel at the Oscars. The plot covers five storylines that take place in a former slum in the city of Jaffa; a violent reality is shown throughout the movie, much different from the sweetened portrait usually offered by the authorities. The story is told from several different perspectives, and the audience is thus driven to sympathize with characters from both sides of the conflict: the labels of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are too prescriptive for the issues depicted in the movie. Although the conclusion certainly doesn’t constitute a happy ending, the movie demands that the audience considers both sides of the conflict with an understanding that is not black or white.