Time to tune in to the latest episode of Indie Beat!
Our guest is filmmaker/teacher Usama Alshaibi, an Iraqi-American located in Boulder, Colorado. In 2003, the director went to US-occupied Baghdad and shot his first feature-length documentary “Nice Bombs.” Part political non-fiction and part video diary, the movie is both a layered look at the Iraq War and a unique, intimate look at a place (and people) that are unfortunately not offered such a profile in other films observing the post-9/11 world (take note: the film is free streamin’ below, just for a week).
Afterwards Alshaibi made a number of short films and hit another pulse with his second documentary “American Arab” which deals with bigotry in the US. The filmmaker profiles a number of people, discussing their day-to-day experience when everyone thinks you’re the enemy. A considerable portion of the movie also details the brutal assault that Alshaibi experienced, himself a victim of racism.
At the moment the director is preparing his third feature, “Boy From War,” which will look back on his time living in Iraq during their war with Iran, and it will feature animation similar to “Waltz With Bashir.”
On the podcast we spoke about the negative perception of Arabs and Muslims, film and TV’s role in perpetuating it, the exhaustion of fighting it, filmmaking as a father, and the power of animation.
Check out the interview below along with Alshaibi’s film “Nice Bombs”! (Note: Streaming period has ended). Be sure to give us a like and all that jazz… and did I mention our Facebook page?