Inspired by a true story, this Golden GlobeÂ(r)-winning* drama is the first film made in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. Hailed by critics as 'stunning (Entertainment Weekly), breathtaking (Slant) and 'emotionally charged (Screen International), Osama is a striking work of cinematic art (L.A. Weekly). After the brutal Taliban regime bans women from working and forbids them to leave their homes without a male escort, a 12-year old girland her mother find themselves on the brink of starvation. With nowhere left to turn, the mother disguises her daughter as a boy. Now called Osama, the young girl embarks on a terrifying and confusing journey as she tries to keep the Taliban from discovering her true identity. *2003: Foreign Language Film
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The first movie produced by Afghanistan filmmakers after the fall of the Taliban, Osama is a searing portrait of life under the oppressive fundamentalist regime. Because women are not allowed to work, a widow disguises her young daughter (Marina Golbahari) as a boy so they won't starve to death. Simply walking the streets is frightening enough, but when the disguised girl is rounded up with all the boys in the town for religious training, her peril becomes absolutely harrowing. Golbahari's face--beautiful but taut with terror--is riveting. The movie captures both her plight and the miseries of daily life in spare, vivid images. At one point, her mother is nearly killed for exposing her feet while riding on the back of a bicycle; for the entire scene, the camera shows only her feet, with the spokes of the wheel radiating out behind as she lowers her burka over them. --Bret Fetzer
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