Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Underground Film News

Nice Bombs Screens In NYC

By Mike Everleth ⋅ September 8, 2008

Filmmaker Usama Alshaibi poses with a rifle

I’ve posted up a couple of Usama Alshaibi‘s short films recently — The Foreigner and Organ Molly — which have been transgressive, violent, very naughty and even sexually explicit. I’m glad he’s been posting these shorts up as I’ve been enjoying them very much. However, on Sept. 10 at 9 p.m., if you live in NYC, you can experience another side of Alshaibi: The war side.

I haven’t formally reviewed Nice Bombs on the Underground Film Journal, but I did catch an airing of it on the Sundance Channel a few months ago and totally loved it. It’s probably the best, most-overlooked documentary on the Iraq war.

Alshaibi was born in Iraq, but mostly raised in the U.S. and Nice Bombs starts off with the director becoming a full-fledged American citizen. Then, with his wife Kristie, he returns to Baghdad at the start of the Iraq war to reconnect with his family and to get their take on the conflict. As we witness in the film, it’s a very bold journey and, although Alshaibi’s extended family appears to handle the situation while in pretty good spirits, they are living in a war zone in which death and mayhem can occur at any moment.

Also, my reading of the film is that it isn’t a particularly political film. It’s a very personal and intimate one that gives a great perspective on what everyday Iraqi citizens think of their situation, and much of their views are quite surprising.

This particular screening is happening at the Anthology Film Archives as a part of the New Filmmakers program and their annual tribute to 9/11. Nice Bombs does begin at 9 p.m., but the night actually starts at 6 p.m. with another documentary, Behind the Lens: Covering 9/11, dir. Anthony Fioranelli. Then, there’s a short film program at 7 p.m. that includes Richard Linklater’s Live From Shiva’s Dance Floor.

When I lived in NYC, I went to New Filmmakers all the time and saw some terrific films there. For awhile, I went just about every singe Wednesday no matter what was screening. It’s a great series, so check ’em out.

Finally, thanks to the Alshaibis’ ArtVamp website for cluing me into the screening. Here’s the exact screening info and the trailer for the film:

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
on Wed Sept 10th @ 8:45 pm

Nice Bombs image gallery: