Introduction: Cinemas of the Arab World
The term ‘Arab Cinema’ is being used here purely for convenience. The Arab world may be bound by language and religion, but it is in no sense homogeneous, neither in its history nor in its customs. Yet, over the years, what has largely been common to many Arab countries in the field of cinema is a set of shared problems: decline in film production, closure of halls, censorship, issues of distribution, diminishing investment, narrowing of the domestic market and the invasion of American films and television programmes. The Arab film industry has also had to deal with the pervasive and longstanding influence of Egyptian cinema to which several countries were called upon to adjust in an earlier day.
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