Arab American Perspectives: Filmic Visions of Dearborn--Usama Alshaibi
Arab American Perspectives
Journalism and Media Production presents a film series illuminating the work of Arab American filmmakers with artists in attendance, presented in conjunction with the UM Arts Initiative, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Center for Arab American Studies, and Arab American National Museum.
A full schedule of screenings can be found here: https://umdearborn.edu/aaperspectives.
Screening on Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m. at the Arab American National Museum
“Nice Bombs” (2006, 76 min): In the film, 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 Alshaibi was born in Baghdad, Iraq and spent his formative years living between the United States and the Middle East. He’s an active filmmaker and artist, who works in documentary and fiction, often blurring the line between the two. His films have screened widely at underground and international film festivals, media exhibitions and museums. He’s received grants from organizations such as the MacArthur Foundation, the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Playboy Foundation, and the Creative Capital Foundation for the Arts.
His first feature documentary, Nice Bombs, which was shot in Baghdad a few months after the start of the United States invasion of Iraq, had a theatrical release in Chicago and New York, and a broadcast premiere on the Sundance Channel. His experimental narrative film Profane won several awards, including best feature film at the Boston Underground Film Festival. His second documentary feature, American Arab, had its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), and was nationally broadcast on television through PBS World Channel. He’s been producing and directing short films and music videos since 1998. Some of his prominent short films include Soon, Here, The Desire, The Muslim Meme, The Flowering, Baghdad, Iowa, Allahu Akbar, Dream of Samarra and Dance Habibi Dance. Usama lived in Chicago for over 17 years and worked as a digital archivist at the Chicago History Museum, and as a radio host and producer for Chicago Public Media. Currently, Usama is a Teaching Associate Professor at Colorado State University.