Nice Bombs | Bleader

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Nice Bombs

  • "Nice Bombs"

Way back in the early days of the Iraq War, when many Iraqis and Americans were still optimistic about the outcome, Usama Alshaibi returned to his native Baghdad. It had been 24 years since his family fled Iraq for Jordan and later Iowa, where Alshaibi spent his teens before studying film at Columbia College.

Alshaibi went back to Baghdad with his father, a retired math professor, and his wife and producer Kristie. Alshaibi's film Nice Bombs captures the moment when euphoria over the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was turning to dread, when the power vacuum in Iraq was growing evident, when the American military was making its uneasy transition from liberators to occupiers.

Nice Bombs has two free screenings Friday 10/16 at the Portage Theater in celebration of its 10/27 DVD release from Libertyville-based Cinema Obscura.

In September, Alshaibi was awarded the first Kartemquin Diversity Fellowship to develop a documentary adaptation of Toufic El Rassi’s autobiographical graphic novel Arab in America, about a Lebanese boy growing up in Chicago.

He's also at work on the fiction film Profane, about a Muslim pro dominatrix. "The very word 'Islam' means submission and 'Muslim' means one who submits," Alshaibi told Vice Magazine. "So I found this very interesting in that the main character, Muna, plays a pro-Domme, who has slaves submit to her, but she submits in prayer to Allah."

Nice Bombs screens Friday 10/16 at 8 and 10 PM at the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee.

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