Filmmaker Youssef Chahine is one of Egypt's finest filmmakers. He was born in Alexandria and is the son of a prominent lawyer. After attending Alexandria University, he spent two years in the U.S. studying drama at the Pasadena Playhouse. Upon his return home in 1948, Chahine began appearing in films. Two years later, he made his directorial debut. His first few films were commercial, but he occasionally offered critiques of the Arab world in films such as The Blazing Sky (1952). Chahine is also noted for his ability to work comfortably with a wide variety of film genres.