Scandar Copti (2009)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani impress as co-directors of this Oscar-nominated drama, which provides a sobering insight into the macho culture ruling the mean streets of Ajami, a multi-ethnic neighbourhood in the Israeli city of Jaffa. The combustible action begins with teenager Omar (Shahir Kabaha) and his family engaged in an increasingly violent feud with a Berber gang. Arab Christian restaurateur Abu Elias (Youssef Sahwani) mediates, but in order to come up with the extortionate blood money, Omar is driven to sell drugs. This sets him against both Jewish cop Dando (Eran Naim), whose soldier brother is missing, and Arab Binj (Copti), who has alienated his community by having a Jewish girlfriend. Then Omar's troubles go from bad to worse when he falls for Elias's daughter. Copti and Shani handle their material with great confidence but their determination to be both even-handed and technically and structurally audacious renders this disappointingly conventional in its discussion of the hatred, frustration and violence fuelling that region's political reality.


Premiere. Five interconnected stories of people living in a Tel Aviv community that is home to various races and religions. An Arab tries to protect his family from extortionists and romance a Christian girl, an illegal immigrant works to fund his mother's operation and an Israeli cop searches for his brother's killers. Drama, starring Fouad Habash and Nisrine Rihan. In Arabic and Hebrew.

Cast & Crew

Omar Shahir Kabaha
Abu Elias Youssef Sahwani
Dando Eran Naim
Nasri Fouad Habash
Binj Scandar Copti
Malek Ibrahim Frege
Hadir Ranin Karim
Director Scandar Copti
Director Yaron Shani
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Other Information

Language: Arabic, Hebrew +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: VertigoGuidance: Contains violence, swearing and drug abuse.Released on: 18 Jun 2010