(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ajami failed to win Israel its first Oscar on Monday night, with Argentina's El Secreto de Sus Ojos winning the award for best foreign language film.
The film pulled off a surprise win for foreign-language film over high-profile entries that included Germany's The White Ribbon and France's A Prophet.
The Argentinean thriller is set in the country's main federal courthouse, where an investigator discovers co-workers torturing suspects into false confessions and running death squads for the president.RELATED ARTICLES:Will Oscar go to Jaffa?
The characters are fictional, but their world is that of Argentina in the early 1970s, when security forces and leftist guerrillas were attacking each other and setting the stage for the dictatorship.
The Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker
won best picture and five other prizes at the Academy Awards, its haul including best director for Kathryn Bigelow.
Bigelow was the first woman in the 82-year history of the Oscars to earn Hollywood's top prize for filmmakers.
Among those Bigelow and The Hurt Locker
overcame are ex-husband James Cameron and his sci-fi spectacle Avatar
First-time winners took all four acting prizes: Sandra Bullock as best
actress for The Blind Side
; Jeff Bridges as best actor for Crazy
; and Austrian
Christoph Waltz as supporting actor for Inglourious Basterds
Standup comedienne Mo'Nique won an acting Oscar
for her role as an abusive mother in Precious
, becoming the fifth black
woman to win the award..