Man is trapped in the machinery of his surroundings. It may be true in general, but it´s certainly true in Ajami, a film named after a crowdy & rowdy Jaffa neighbourhood. Core of the comlex plot is Omar’s problem: a vengeful family wants to kill him, because Omar’s uncle killed one of them. This story line provides a thriller-like tension, but in the end the movie feels more like a combination of documentary and tragedy. We are led into several strands of Jaffa life and see christians bugging eachother for dating arabs, arabs bugging eachother for dating jews.
|Omar and his christian girlfriend risk being caught while holding hands.|
One of the highlights is Omar’s visit to the vengeful family, who turn out to be a powerful nomad clan. Omar needs an interpreter to talk to them and he is as much as we at a loss about the precize customs of this clan. Some sort of deal is reached: if Omar brings in a large ransom, he won’t be killed. The remainder of the movie shows Omar pursuing this impossible goal: a tragic character in a cruel world.
Seen on July 20, 2010, in Rialto, Amsterdam.