Saturday, January 03, 2009

Is there Such a Thing as 'Nice Bombs'?

"Shot in January 2004, just 10 months after the American-led invasion of Iraq, Chicago filmmaker Usama Alshaibi’s offbeat documentary “Nice Bombs” engages the viewer with an oddly casual tone. A Baghdad native, Alshaibi chronicles his return home with his wife and father to see his extended family for the first time in 24 years. It opens with Alshaibi describing his personal history and explaining his motives for returning to Baghdad. After arriving and reuniting with his family, he and his wife, Kristie, wander around Baghdad making such observations as everything “smells like gasoline.” Accused by some critics of meandering and lacking distinctiveness among what is now a sea of documentaries on post-Saddam Iraq, the film succeeds in capturing a distinct moment in Iraqi history: a moment of uncertainty when the country was still teetering on the brink of hope and despair. Although the cool tone does not sit well with everyone, the New York Times commends it for allowing “the occasional jarring moment to arterialize naturally.” Ending with a phone call to a shattered Baghdad two years later, the film implies that it was all for nothing. You think?"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

From my email archive:
(Feb 13 2004) U Alshaibi wrote:

Sama, tell everyone we are fine. yes one of the
bombings killed about 30 people and injured almost was 4 miles from us. I'll write about it in
my blogger-
thanks for checking up, we are in Amman and will
hopefully be back in the usa by monday- 
love usama
Sama wrote:
Hi U,
Making sure you are fine. There has been a lot of
major bombings on the news
in the last 72 hours. I know they were at targets
you probably weren't at...
We look forward talking with you. Much love to Kristie!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I know I have not posted in a long time. NICE BOMBS has been doing well. We got picked up by 7th Art Releasing thanks to our awesome producers Benzfilm Group. I want to to update you on some of the news and events in the past year.

-We had our world premier at the Chicago Underground Film Festival in 2006 presented by the Playboy Foundation. Studs Terkel and Christie Hefner introduced the film. Here are some pics from that night.

My Mom. Studs Terkel, Kristie, Ben my producer and me.

Studs Terkel and Usama.

In the summer of 2007 we theatrical release and played at the Pioneer Theater in NYC, The Gene Siskel Center in Chicago, The Santa Fe Film Center and there are more to come!

Some of the media shows I have been on talking about NICE BOMBS:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Monday, April 10, 2006


I know it has been over two years but with the help of the Benz, Kristie and the whole gang we are finally complete. Stay tuned for upcoming screenings. Please email me: ' usama (at) dancehabibi (dot) com ' to be placed on my email list (I recently lost all my email contact, so please send me your email even if you think I may have it).

New website, poster and trailer coming soon.

Thank you all for your support!


Friday, June 24, 2005

Baghdad 2004

 So much has happened and so little has changed. The movie on Iraq, NICE BOMBS, has received a generous grant from the Creative Capital Arts Foundation and wins Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award for Documentary Feature - Sponsored by The Playboy Foundation. The award was presented by Rosie Perez and Chris Napolitano, Editorial Director of Playboy Magazine. The Benzfilm and my producer/wife was with me.

Iraq is too dangerous to return to at the moment. I spoke to a great soldier who was there for 18 months.

I am emotional about Iraq and I miss my cousin T. Until later...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Happy Anniversary?

Iraqi demonstrators stage a mock reenactment of Abu Ghraib Prison abuses during a rally in Baghdad, Saturday. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Tens of thousands of followers of a radical Shia cleric marched through Baghdad Saturday, demanding the end of the U.S.-led occupation on the second anniversary of Saddam Hussein's ouster.

In the largest anti-American demonstration since the invasion began, the supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr streamed into Firdos Square, where the statue of Saddam was toppled two years ago.

Waving Iraqi flags and chanting slogans against the occupation, they placed three effigies representing Saddam, U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on a pedestal, then knocked them down.

"I do not accept having occupation forces in my country," protester Ali Feleih Hassan, 35, told the Associated Press.

"No one accepts this. I want them out. They have been here for two years, and now they have to set a timetable for their withdrawal."

read more