Jaffa (2009)

Jaffa (2009)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Jaffa Photos

Movie Info

This French-German-Israeli co-production helmed by director Keren Yedaya observes the heartbreaking tragedy that erupts from an affair between a young Jewish woman and an Arab mechanic. Mali Wolf (Dana Ivgy) is the daughter of garage proprietor Reuven (Moni Moshonov) and his wife Osnat (Ronit Elkabetz); Reuven employs two Arabs, father and son Hassan (Hussein Yassin Mahajneh) and Tawfik (Mahmoud Shalaby) at his shop. He shows them basic respect, though an undercurrent of racial hostility bubbles beneath the surface among all concerned. Meanwhile, Mali and Tawfik nurture a discreet relationship -- so discreet that no one else realizes what is happening -- and in seemingly no time, Mali realizes that she is pregnant with Tawfik's daughter, but deliberately avoids telling him. Things come to a head at the shop when Tawfik gets into a brawl with Mali's hotheaded brother Meir (Roy Assaf), ends up killing the young man, and gets shuttled off to prison. Mali breaks up with Tawfik, but decides to have the baby and lies to her parents, informing them that the father is a married man and will remain out of the picture. All bodes well with the child and the family for nine years, until Tawfik gets out of prison, still unaware of the presence of his daughter Shiran (Lili Ivgy). For a stylistic model, Yedaya emulates the approach of slick Egyptian melodramas.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Transfax Film Productions

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Dana Ivgy
as Mali Wolf
Moni Moshonov
as Reuven Wolf
Ronit Elkabetz
as Osnat "Ossi" Wolf
Roy Assaf
as Meir Wolf
Lili Ivgy
as Shiran Wolf
Suma Zenabh
as Evtesam
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Jaffa

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

An absorbing and touching family drama set in the Israeli seaside town of the title.

May 16, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

"Jaffa" is modeled on semi-glossy Egyptian mellers, but Yedaya lets the air out, leaving empty characters with no connections to each other or the audience. Best seen as a temporary blip in a promising career.

Full Review… | May 16, 2009
Top Critic

...an engaging, sporadically enthralling little drama...

Full Review… | November 8, 2010
Reel Film Reviews

The battle between love and hatred for Arabs in one Jewish family in Jaffa.

Full Review… | November 1, 2010
Spirituality and Practice

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | August 18, 2010
Movies for the Masses

Jaffa's schematic plot, predictably developed with stock characters that are never fleshed out, is insufficient to carry her pallid observations.

Full Review… | May 16, 2009
Screen International

Audience Reviews for Jaffa


I thought this movie was going to be like Titantic or something but it was just okay. Worth one time watch. Nice story about love among two young people from different backgrounds.

Jennifer Torres
Jennifer Torres

Jaffa strikes me as an updated version of Romeo and Juliet, sans the total fail at the end of that one. A Jewish girl falls in love with a Palestinian boy that she has known since childhood. The central conflict in the story is between members of her Jewish family and the Palestinians who work for them in their family owned garage. These conflicts are heightened and resolved through the relationship the young woman has with her love interest. While borrowing elements of a classic story, the movie is anything but predictable, and in the end, after the conflict inches further towards resolution, then further still, there is a gradual sense of movement past the inter-group struggle in play at the outset, but without a ride into the sunset. Love triumphs in the end, but each person who chooses love faces consequences for that decision.

Ryan Mahon
Ryan Mahon

Very slow moving drama...but very engaging, and moving, to say the least. The story is well told, and I found myself feeling bad for everyone involved. This is a story of survival, despair, and eventual overcoming. Wonderful ending..

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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