The Road to Nasiriyah tells the story of the unprecedented looting of archaeological sites in southern Iraq following the 2003 Iraq war. The film unfolds over four months through the journey of four characters who work together as a team. There are two Iraqi characters: Abdulamir Hamdani, an Iraqi archaeologist who risks his life battling looters and militias, and Amir Doshi, an Iraqi writer, who leads us through our journey providing a poetic interpretation to the devastation unfolding in Iraq. There are two American characters: journalists, and directors Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton, who are committed to documenting and bringing the story of the looting to international attention.
The Road to Nasiriyah is also a personal film. At the end of the four-month journey, while filming one of the last scenes of the documentary, Micah and Amir are kidnapped by Shi’ite militants. Micah is threatened with execution in a video shown around the world. Following a worldwide effort on their behalf, and the realization that Micah’s filming efforts were to the benefit of Iraqi citizens, Micah and Amir are finally released after ten days of captivity.
The film is ultimately a meditation on humanity and the impact of destruction of culture, what we are willing to risk, and on what happens to the characters that are all deeply impacted by this journey. As we reflect on the Iraq war, our personal story will help illuminate a dark chapter in the destruction of world history that will have a lasting legacy for all of us.
The Road to Nasiriyah is currently in post-production.
Directed and produced by Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton.
Executive producer: Alex Gibney.