In Nice Bombs filmmaker Usama Alshaibi returns to Baghdad to reunite with his family after nearly 24 years. This documentary navigates through his unique relationship to an Iraq that is ... See full summary »

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In Nice Bombs filmmaker Usama Alshaibi 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. His cousin Tareef enters the room upon hearing an explosion. "It's a bomb. A Nice Bomb," he explains. The phrase is indicative of his family's nonchalance about their situation. As one young boy put it, "We're Iraqis. It's normal." With humor and resilience Nice Bombs explores Usama's dual role as both Iraqi and American. This Director's Cut of Nice Bombs was completed by director Usama Alshaibi 10 years after his trip to his home country. It contains more interviews with Iraqi women and broader more detailed view of life in Iraq. Written by Anonymous

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My Journey Back to Iraq

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Documentary | War

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11 July 2007 (USA)  »

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Eye opening documentary
11 April 2008 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

Not to be confused with Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams, Nice Bombs is the sophomore effort of Iraqi-American filmmaker Usama Alshaibi. Alshaibi, who left his native Iraq as a child in 1979, returned in 2004 to see what changes had been wrought by the American "liberation", and this film documents that visit. Shot as a video diary, the film follows the director, his wife, and his father as they travel to Baghdad and reunite with their extended family, still celebrating the overthrow of Saddam and relatively happy in the immediate wake of the invasion. The "nice bombs" of the title are, of course, those dropped by the Americans on insurgents and dead-enders, but by film's end, those same bombs have begun to wear down the Alshaibi family, and Usama finds himself all too eager to get out of town and return to the safer environs of Chicago. It's a fascinating time capsule shot when a better future seemed possible for educated, cosmopolitan Iraqis, rendered all the more bittersweet by the cruel lessons we've since learned.


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