Everywhere, every minute film director Mohammed Khan finds his inspiration. He sees a scene. He hears a word. He remembers a voice, an image, a place. He remembers how Alexandria looks in the winter: it’s European look shines then. Driving home late one night from downtown Cairo, he is stirred by hearing a story of being young and struggling to make a life. His inspiration turns into the soul of his movies. His movies turn into the soul of the Egyptian cinema that is inspired by reality. Movies like Downtown Girls, and Hind and Camellia’s Dreams, Wife of an Important Man, Days of Sadat. He begins his days listening and watching the news, and reading. He reads al Masry al Youm and al Destour and al Fajr and on and on; magazines and newspapers all thrown into the mix of memory and sensitivities. “You in the West, you make unreal situations real. Here we start with reality,” he says. “We always think real.”

And real is the world the news tells us about.