Iraqi Secret Videos and Artifacts From a Fallen Regime"
15:35 minutes; video; color; black & white
(completed March 2004)
created by Usama Alshaibi
This video is compiled from several appropriated clips from VCD's (Video Compact Disks) that are sold on the streets of Baghdad.
Iraqi-American filmmaker Usama Alshaibi...makes some striking juxtapositions with his work "Bombshell: Iraqi Secret Videos and Artifacts from a Fallen Regime," which split-screens a smiling Saddam Hussein birthday party and underground torture videos as well as images of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein in 1983. "'Bombshell' is saying many things at once," explains Alshaibi, who lived in Iraq as a child and just recently visited his homeland. "I'm just showing the history of Iraq: the U.S. intervention, but also keep in mind that Saddam was the United States' main guy, we helped him produce chemical weapons, so it's the schizophrenia of war and Iraq as a symbol of many things."
Alshaibi, who just received his U.S. citizenship in May 2003 and lives in Chicago, now feels more confident about using his art to engage with current politics. Before he became an American, he says, "I thought if I said the wrong thing, they were going to put me in an orange suit and ship me away."-American Prejudice: Arab Films Try to Breakthrough Bias, by Anthony Kaufman, indieWIRE.
Atrocity Exhibition, Dispacthces From Iraq, Other Cinema (2005)
The Eleventh Annual Cucalorus Festival of Independent Film (2005)
Video Babylon, Visions from the Arab World,Gene Siskel Films Center (Chicago 2004)
The 8th Rencontres internationales Paris/Berlin (2004)
Chicago Underground Film Festival (Made in Chicago Award Winner 2004)
Camp Film Festival (U.S.A 2004)
Version >04 invisibleNetworks (Chicago 2004)
CherryBomb DVD Release Party, Double Door (Chicago 2004)
- Belly Dancers with Iraqi Chobi music.
- Chemical Ali and Iraqi Ba'ath Officials torturing and killing several men.
- Saddam Hussein and his Family celebrating the Birthday of his youngest daughter Hallah.
- Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein December 20, 1983 (pic).
- Iraqi Ba'ath Officials executing men with explosives taped to their chests.
- Tribal party for Saddam's relatives. Two women doing a 'Kowly' dance in a tent.
- Uday Hussein's Birthday party with his machine gun (in this video Uday stays seated throughout the party. These clips were most likely taken after his assasination attempt which left Uday partially paralyzed.)
- Iraqi soldiers being punished.
- Saddam Hussein propaganda music videos; months before the US occupation.
- Iraqi Information Minister.
- Footage of unknown wounded US soldier in Iraq
- Baghdad bombings March 2003.
- Unknown amateur video footage in Baghdad as US forces enter the city.
- Pictures of Iraqi casualties and death from US bombings.
- Iraqi news of captured US soldier's uniform.
- US soldiers arresting Iraqis.
- Iraqi Ba'ath Military in downtown Baghdad.
- Saddam Hussein's statue toppled in Al-Fardos Square, central Baghdad (April 9, 2003)
- Saddam Hussein's last public appearance in the Azzamya section in (Baghdad, April ?, 2003).
- Mass graves discovered after the fall of Saddam
.-French and US news footage.
- US troops at the Babylon ruins.
- Unknown explosions in Baghdad at night.