Neighboring Identities: The Jew in Arab Cinema


ACLS Fellowship Program


Asian Studies

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This work examines the place of the Jew in Arab cinema from the inception of the film industry in the Middle East in the 1920s to the present. It addresses issues of both representation, namely, the cinematic portrayal of the Jew in Arab films, and production, the role Jewish producers, directors, and actors have played in the Arab film industry. Attending to these interrelated aspects, the manuscript is designed to dispel facile binary oppositional claims about relations between Arabs and Jews in Arab lands. The analysis of films and cinema infrastructure offers a reading of “Arab-Jew” in Arab cinema not as a contradiction in terms, but as a nuanced, multilayered, and historically-specific construct.