Oscar nominators clearly have a soft spot for Israel. In the last past two years, Beaufort and Waltz With Bashir were both contenders but not winners. But this year's Israeli film Ajami just might win. The unscripted dialogue is mostly in Arabic; it was co-directed by Israeli and Arab-Israeli filmmakers, Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti, virtual no-names until now. And instead of actors, the directors cast cops to play cops, and street kids as street kids. The film centers on the ongoing ethic conflicts in the neighborhood of Ajami where it's not only Jews v. Arabs, but also Christians v. Muslims, and urban Arabs v. Bedouin. Ajami was shot in under three weeks for less than $1 million; it's the anti-Avatar.
Fri., May 14, 7 p.m.; Sat., May 15, 7 p.m.; Sun., May 16, 7 p.m., 2010