This book combines economic, ideological, and aesthetic narrative history with thought-provoking analysis. It provides an overview of cinema in the Arab world, tracing the industry's development from colonial times to the present. It analyzes the ambiguous relationship with commercial western cinema, and the effect of Egypt's market dominance in the region. Tracing the influence on the medium of local and regional art forms and modes of thought, both classical and popular, the book shows how indigenous and external factors combine in a dynamic process of cultural repackaging. This text has been updated to reflect cultural shifts in the last ten years of cinema. The book has a strong focus on Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. While exploring problematic issues such as European co-production for Arab art films, including their relation to cultural identity and their reception in the region and abroad, this edition introduces readers to some of the most compelling cinematic works of the last decade.