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"thoroughly engaging . . .offers a uniquely time-layered vision of the war."-Ronnie Scheib, Variety (read more)

New York Sun
"Loaded with candid conversations and opinions about the hot-button issues of war, terrorism, and Islamic extremism,'Nice Bombs' offers many different Iraqi and American points of view and portrays a time and place of nightmarish complexity."- Bruce Bennett, NEW YORK SUN (read more)

"I was born in Iraq," says Usama Alshaibi, "and was recently sworn in as a citizen of the nation that was now attacking it." At the start of his documentary, Nice Bombs, it's March 2003, and Alshaibi is safe in Amsterdam, honeymooning with his new wife Kristie. On TV, protests against the war are loud and numerous, followed by the seemingly unavoidable invasion. Within weeks, when Usama and Kristie are back home in Chicago, the Saddam Hussein statue falls and looting commences. Alshaibi observes, "I had a feeling that the news I read and saw was not telling me the full story."-by Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters, July 18 2007 (read more)

Time Out Chicago
When Studs Terkel urges you to do something, you do it. "He sort of put me on the spot," recalls Usama Alshaibi, who was working at the Chicago History Museum as a sound engineer when his project sparked Terkel's interest. It was January 2004 when the legendary author and historian came into Alshaibi's office and asked about his family in Baghdad. Alshaibi replied, "Well, I have this idea about going to Iraq and interviewing my family...." And that's what set Terkel off. "He said, 'You have to go!' " Alshaibi says. "He pulled out his checkbook and gave me my first donation. -Jason Mojica, Time Out Chicago August 10, 2006 (read more)

Alshaibi does something so simple yet, sadly, so neglected: He lets a Western audience see Iraqis not as crazed Middle Easterners shouting and shooting (and dying) en masse, but as individuals going about their daily lives--shopping, listening to the radio, hanging out. Those shared-humanity moments make all the more compelling the postscript phone call, in which Tareef tells Alshaibi that, since his visit, Iraq has gone from tolerably bad to almost irredeemably worse.--Time Out Chicago, Novid Parsi August 2006

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.