Alshaibi’s personal Iraq doc “Nice Bombs” due for summer theatrical run from Seventh Art Releasing

Usama Alshaibi’s personal Iraq documentary “Nice Bombs” will get a theatrical release in markets including Chicago and New York this summer through Seventh Art Releasing.

“The deal is for all North American rights, all media,” said producer Ben Berkowitz. “It will include broadcast and DVD following the theatrical but we cannot go into details now.”

Berkowitz produced “Nice Bombs” with Usama’s wife Kristie Alshaibi, and Ben Redgrave, Berkowitz’ partner in Benzfilm Group.

“Nice Bombs” chronicles Usama’s return to his native Baghdad after a 20-year absence, during the early days of the U.S. occupation, accompanied by Kristie and by Usama’s father.

It presents a unique perspective on the conflict through Usama’s dual identity as an Iraqi American, and shows a strikingly thoughtful ambivalence about the U.S. invasion and the possibilities facing the Iraqi people in its aftermath.

“Nice Bombs” premiered last year at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, where it won best documentary, and screened March 30 in the New York Underground Film Festival.

Berkowitz negotiated the deal with Udy Epstein of L.A.-based Seventh Art (“Rock the Bells,” “Jonestown: The Rise and Fall of the People’s Temple”).

The Alshaibis’ previous, highly transgressive work has been a staple of underground fests. “Nice Bombs” marks a departure in its understated, sadly humorous tone.