Thursday, February 2, 2012


Fact: In the Middle East, Arabs and Christians are locked in a death feud, even though they're neighbors, often trade peacefully, go to school together, their children play together and marry.  But they keep killing.  I don't begin to understand it.  Same goes for different groups of Arabs.

Fact: poor young men in poor, hopeless neighborhoods worldwide turn to murder, drugs and other black market activities to try to get by.  I guess I naively thought that religious young men living in the Holy Land, a day's walk from some of the holiest sites of their faith, would somehow rise above.
Fact: revenge killings only lead to more revenge killings.
In Ajami, these two realities come together dramatically and tragically, as several interrelated stories illustrate the struggles in modern Tel Aviv.  It's fast-paced, with sequences deliberately out of order, and sometimes a little complex, one of those movies where they jump to the next scene and you (OK, I.  You are probably a more attentive movie watcher than I am.) have to stop and think, who are these guys and how do they relate to the other guys?  But even my little brain could grasp the stories as they snowball together.

Ajami is gritty, at times violent, and tastes genuine.  Well-made, well-acted, well worth a look.  This land of the Bible is calling out for redemption and reconciliation.  Let it be soon, Lord.

Bottom line, 3 1/2 stars.

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