Berlinale

Ajami

Synopsis
Ajami is the untold story of the walled in city of Jaffa, on the outskirts of the Palestinian – Israeli conflict, where violence and hatred are a daily reality. The characters in this high-paced film live in a violent reality where enemies live as neighbours. It is a meeting of conflicting views – Jews and Arabs, Christians and Moslems, fathers and sons, cops and robbers. As the films jolts from one point of view to the other it creates an alternative truth, a new surprising expression of the human experience. Shuttling back and forth through time, we witness the events over and over again through the eyes of a different character, and every time our perception of “what is right” changes, triggering opposing emotional reactions. We are forced to ask ourselves the eternal question: how do people with the same basic values and moral conscience become blood enemies?

Director's Note
Ajami tells stories that are taken from our actual life experience, each one of us from his own perspective (Scandar, a Palestinian brought up in Arab Jaffa, and Yaron, an Israeli Jew, brought up in the Western Zionistic Israel). In a unique narrative technique, the viewer experiences Ajami’s world again and again. Every time, going back in time to observe the same reality from a different point of view. The essence of conflict is not good versus evil, or right versus wrong, only different points of view. Only by looking through the eyes of our enemies can we see their humanity.”


World premiere
Cannes International Film Festival 2009, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

Key festivals and awards
Camera d’Or Special Distinction
Cannes International Film Festival 2009
Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Composer, Ophir Israeli Film and Television Academy Award 2009
Nomination Academy Awards USA for Best Foreign Language Film of the year 2010

Theatrical release in Germany
May 22, 2010

Israel/Palestine 2009
Directors: Yaron Shani & Scandar Copti
Producer: Inosan Ltd. (Israel), Twenty Twenty Vision (Germany)
German WCF Partner: Twenty Twenty Vision
World sales: The Match Factory (Germany)
German distributor: Neue Visionen

Funded in the WCF jury meetings in October 2005 and in November 2009
Production funding: 65,000 €
Distribution funding: 10,000 €