In the wake of the 2003 Iraq war, hundreds of archaeological sites in southern Iraq were destroyed by looting. The Road to Nasiriyah is the passionate journey to tell that story. Two American filmmakers, an Iraqi archaeologist and an interpreter risk everything to document the destruction, while trying to find a way to protect the sites. Their journey takes an unexpected turn when two of them are kidnapped.

The Road to Nasiriyah tells the story of unprecedented looting of archaeological sites following the 2003 Iraq war. The story unfolds over four months through the experience of an unprecedented cast of characters: two American journalists, Micah Garen and Marie-Helene Carleton, who travel into the unknown to tell the story of the looting; an Iraqi interpreter, Amir Doshi, who sees the world through the lens of philosophy, literature and humor; a brave, young Iraqi archaeologist, Adbdul-Amir Hamdani, who puts his life on the line to protect the archaeological site; and Jassem, an Iraqi of mixed loyalties who risks his future to film the looters in action at night, and to provide entre to the world of looted antiquities in Iraq.

Set against the backdrop of a war-torn Iraq in 2004, this documentary journey is a taste of a passion that transcends geography. Micah and Marie Helene, the drovers of the story, reveal the passion that propels the action and consequences of their ardor. Amir Doshi translates the journey as a poetic meditation on the fundamental questions of humanity and civilization, on mortality and knowledge of ourselves. Adbul-Amir Hamdani portrays the frustrations and dangers of trying to preserve the cradle of civilization that lies beneath the ground of war-torn Iraq. Jassem personifies the ambivalence of a war-ravaged population, torn between the conflicting desires for money and will for self-preservation, and to ethical imperative to preserve his own heritage.

An intellectual thriller, the film is a documentary that explores the risks people take for something they care deeply about, a journey that ultimately brings them face to face with their own mortality. At the end of the journey, Micah and Amir are kidnapped and throated with execution in a video sent around the world. They are released after ten days following a worldwide effort on their behalf. 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 ultimately about the strength of the human spirit.

The Road to Nasiriyah is being executive produced by Alex Gibney who directed the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary feature, Taxi to the Dark Side.

Greg Carr, Noble Smith, and Wider Film Projects are also executive producers.

The Road to Nasiriyah, currently in production, was selected to participate in Film Independent's inaugural 2011 Documentary Lab in Los Angeles. The film was also selected to participate in the IFP's Independent Filmmaker Lab for 2009, and IFP's Market ins 2008 and 2009.



Director, Producer, Cinematographer


Director, Producer, Cinematographer


Executive Producer


Executive Producer


Executive Producer


Executive Producer


Executive Producer


Rough Draft Editor


Story Editor


Marie-Helene Carleton