The Road to Nasiriyah is the untold story of the tragic looting and destruction of Iraq’s cultural history following the 2003 Iraq War. The film is both a poetic mediation on post-war Iraq, and an intellectual thriller following a trail of looting that ends in the kidnapping of an American journalist.
Set against the backdrop of war-torn Iraq in 2004, two American journalists, Micah and Marie-Hélène, an Iraqi archaeologist named Abdulamir, and his childhood friend and interpreter, Amir, embark on a four-month journey to tell the story of the unprecedented looting of archaeological sites following the 2003 war.
Their journey is also an odyssey to find a way to protect the sites, a journey that takes them from Baghdad to Nasiriyah to remote archaeological sites deep in the deserts of southern Iraq on open, dangerous roads as the security situation deteriorates and the country plunges into chaos.
Through their often harrowing, sometimes humorous and deeply moving experiences, we learn not only about what it means to live in a country torn apart by conflict, but also about the strength of human spirit and ultimately about ourselves.
The Road to Nasiriyah was selected to participate in Film Independent’s inaugural Documentary Lab in 2011 and IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Lab for 2009. Alex Gibney is an adviser on the film.