A filmmaker of truly international renown and the recipient of the Cannes Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award, Youssef Chahine was the director of an enormously diverse and prestigious body of work. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1926, the cosmopolitan Chahine embodied the preoccupations of his native Egypt in a career that ranged from social realism to autobiographical fantasy, from historical epics to musicals and spanned over 50 years from 1950 to 2007. In writing this book, Ibrahim Fawal draws upon his unique qualifications as an Arab-American whose native language is Arabic, and as a film practitioner and educator. His discussion of the frequently controversial filmmaker illuminates Chahine's work in the context of modern Egyptian culture and its tumultuous post-war history, showing how such films as Cairo Station (1958), The Earth (1969) and The Sparrow (1973) dramatised the dilemmas of ordinary Egyptians. He also demonstrates how Chahine's intensely personal autobiographical trilogy Alexandria...Why?(1978), An Egyptian Story (1985) and Alexandria Again and Forever (1989) spoke to the concerns of the broader Egyptian intelligentsia among whom he has earned the reputation of being the 'poet and thinker' of modern Arab cinema. In the final analysis, the author argues that Chahine's work stands comparison with directors such as Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa and Sembene but also emphatically draws strength from its links with one of the most vibrant popular cinemas of the world and from the roots and traditions of popular Arabic culture. Ibrahim Fawal is an author whose novel, On the Hills of God, won the prestigious 1998 PEN-Oakland Award for Excellence in Literature. He holds an M.A. in Film from UCLA and a D.Phil from Oxford University.