American Arab: a documentary on life in America | The National UAE

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Published November 25, 2013 in The National, Abu-Dhabi, By David D’Arcy

American Arab is full of troubling images. None more so than close-ups of Usama Alshaibi with bloody bruises on his face. Alshaibi had stumbled into a house in Fairfield, Iowa, the mid-western town where he lived in 2010, thinking that he’d been invited to a party inside. For some young men there, it wasn’t so much that he was an intruder, but that the man named Usama was an Arab. The attackers were never prosecuted. It would have been Alshaibi’s word against theirs.

Alshaibi’s new film made its world … Read the rest

Indiewire: American Arab: Racism in the Post-9/11 Age

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BY ANTHONY KAUFMAN

From documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films comes the news that Usama Alshaibi’s new documentary “American Arab” is nearing completion, readying for festival screenings in late 2013 and 2014, which could mean a Toronto premiere or a fall regional fest appearance. I got to know Alshaibi’s work when I profiled him for the Creative Capital Foundation a few years back. His 2006 doc “Nice Bombs” offered a refreshing new perspective on Iraq War, allowing Westerners to sympathize with an Arab perspective in a much deeper way. “American Arab” promises to do the same.

In March 2011, Alshaibi was beaten, … Read the rest

Cinesploitation: Profane (DVD Review)

Muna_downtownProfane (2011, DVD Review)
by Greg Baty

Director: Usama Alshaibi
Cast: Manal Kara, Molly Plunk, Dejan Mircea
MVD Visual/ length: 78 minutes
Disk Extras: 20 minutes of extra footage
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If you really understand religion on an intellectual level, you understand indoctrination. You know brainwashing and how the teachings and dogma go against every grain of human nature. One of those grains (more like a boulder) is sex and it is probably the most contentious of the beliefs held by most major religions. That is the postulation that sex is dirty and a sin if it is outside of … Read the rest

Bad Lit declares Profane Best Movie of the Year for 2011

I’m very honored that Profane was declared best movie for 2011 by Bad Lit. Thank you Mike Everleth! Check out Bad Lit a great site for all things underground film!

By Mike Everleth

Choosing Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film’s 2011 Movie of the Year came down to a near dead heat. There were two movies that came out this year filled with such grand ambition, artistry and skill that the decision almost came down to a tie before ultimately settling on the singular Movie of the Year tradition.

That movie this year is Usama Alshaibi‘s Profane, a … Read the rest

Solar Anus Cinema review by Total (no) subjective

Slovenian blogger Total (no) subjective review of Solar Anus Cinema. Translated into English using Google translate. 

No, I’m sailing in the waters porn than you think to the title, but the art combined with the exploitation of the body. The title of this blog is derived from the collection of short films, between 2001 and 2008 recorded born in Iraq and staying versatile artist Chicago Usama Alshaibi . An artist who is one of the movie screen, but above all in the space of galleries and skvotov. It creates video installations that explore the issue of physicality and sexuality.If I’m … Read the rest

Djinn In the blogosphere

Two blog reviews of my work.

I really enjoyed reading this review by Sargasso Sea, a creative collective blog:

If there’s one thing I’m sick of, it’s not caring. Perhaps not caring is the same as apathy or indifference or a side effect of being a teenager, but I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that too often I read a book or see a film and by the end of it, I find myself profoundly unaffected. As if nothing had ever happened, as if my viewpoint had emerged unaltered – and that’s when familiarity becomes truly contemptible.… Read the rest

Ballard And Trauma by Jack Sargeant

This essay is by writer and film programmer Jack Sargeant. Here he discusses the novel Crash and its relationship to other artist including my films. The novel by J.G Ballard had a huge impact on me when I read it as a teenager.-Usama Alshaibi

Ballard And Trauma by Jack Sargeant

The following notes  formed the basis for a talk at the Erotics Conference that took place at Griffith University in Brisbane in February and more recently a public talk as part of the Decadent Society. At some point a more literary version may well be completed for publication, Read the rest

Chicago Reader Profane Review


Profane

Like a bargain-basement version of Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void, this Chicago-shot feature by Usama Alshaibi (Nice Bombs) uses a panoply of shock tactics—rapid editing, blurry superimpositions, drug use, and S-M—to evoke nauseous fascination with the sexual underworld. And like Noé, Alshaibi seems as curious about religious transcendence as degradation. The heroine, a Jordanian immigrant, works contentedly as a dominatrix but wants to reconnect with her Muslim roots; scenes of her lurid career alternate with a sweet subplot in which she befriends a religiously devout Middle Eastern cabdriver. Though certainly not for the squeamish, the movie is a striking … Read the rest

Profane review in Bad Lit By Mike Everleth

In his still relatively young, yet incredibly prolific, career, Iraqi-American filmmaker Usama Alshaibi has mostly exhibited three very distinct and separate styles in his approach to his films.

There are the highly sensual and sexual portraits of women, such as Traumata, Gash and Organ Molly. There are the serious and personal documentaries, such as Nice Bombs and the still-in-production American Arab. And there are his gonzo, transgressive “comedies” such as The Amateurs and The Foreigner.

However, for his latest feature-length, fictional narrative film Profane, Alshaibi has melded all of those styles into a singular, cohesive vision … Read the rest