A discussion of the frequently controversial film maker Youssef Chahine. The book aims to illuminate Chahine's work in the context of modern Egyptian culture and its tumultuous post-war history and how such films as "Cairo Station" (1958), "The Earth" (1959) and "The Sparrow" (1973) dramatized the dilemmas of ordinary Egyptians. He also argues that Chahine's intensely autobiographical trilogy "Alexandria...Why?" (1978), "An Egyptian Story" (1985) and "Alexandria...More and More" (1989) spoke to the concerns of the broader Egyptian intelligentsia amongst whom he has earned the reputation of being the "poet and thinker" of modern Arab cinema. The final analysis of the book argues that Chahine's work stands comparison with directors such as Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa or 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.