The Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema covers the production and exhibition of cinema in the Middle East and in communities whose heritage is from the region and whose films commonly reflect this background. It covers the cinemas of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In addition, it includes the non-Arab states of Turkey and Iran, as well as the Jewish state of Israel.
To a substantial degree, cinema has served to define the character of the peoples and nations of the Middle East. With that in mind, the content and arrangement of entries in this volume works to introduce and emphasize both the national and transnational character of Middle Eastern cinema, which includes not only its indigenous but its colonial aspects as well, both external and internal to the geographical regions themselves. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on individual films, filmmakers, and actors. It also covers the range of cinematic modes, from documentary to fiction, representational to animation, generic to experimental, mainstream to avant-garde, and entertainment to propaganda.