Monday, February 12, 2007

showtime: Nice Bombs

MY JOURNEY BACK TO IRAQ tonight 8pm at the Directors Lounge

Nice Bombs shows filmmaker Usama Alshaibi as he returns to Baghdad to reunite with his family after nearly 24 years. This documentary navigates through his unique relationship to an Iraq that is much different than the country of his childhood.
Usama captures the conflicting reactions to the conditions of life in Baghdad.
Through a wide range of opinions and experiences he provides a broad panorama of voices long neglected under Saddam’s regime.

to see the trailer..

The sound of a ground-shaking explosion awoke my wife and I from a deep sleep. It was about 7:00 in the morning. My cousin Tareef entered the bedroom
to find a tie for work. “What was that?” I asked. “It was a bomb. A nice bomb.”
The phrase was indicative of my family’s nonchalance about their situation. I had
been away for twenty-four years. They were used to it. As one young boy put it,
“We’re Iraqis. It’s normal.”
My Arabic is weak so I spoke to my relatives in English, both on and off camera. I
was surprised that, despite the language barrier, their meaning clearly broke through. I thought that most Iraqis would be reluctant to speak openly. It had been rumored that Saddam executed people for simply making jokes about him and they were accustomed to holding their tongues. The opposite was true.
Everyone wanted to speak, and they wanted Americans to hear them.
I left in 1980 in the midst of a war between Iraq and Iran. I was eleven years old and terrified of dying. The current war gave me an opportunity to return and revisit my birthplace and my family, and to explore a culture in which I feel both rooted and uprooted. I was frightened, but I felt that I had to go and see what TV and newspapers could not convey. I brought my camera along to document the experience.

Usama Alshaibi US/IQ Nice Bombs 92 min, DV, 2006 mon 12 02 8pm

Winner Best Documentary at The Chicago Underground Festival 2006

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