The Taliban are ruling Afghanistan, they being a repressive regime especially for women, who, among other things, are not allowed to work. This situation is especially difficult for one ... See full summary »
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The Taliban are ruling Afghanistan, they being a repressive regime especially for women, who, among other things, are not allowed to work. This situation is especially difficult for one family consisting solely of three women representing three successive generations. All the males in their family have died in various Afghani wars. The mother had been working as a nurse in a hospital, but regardless of she not being allowed to work, the Taliban has cut off funding to the hospital. The mother and grandmother make what they feel is the only decision they can to survive: they will have the preteen daughter masquerade as a boy so that she can get a job to support the family. The daughter, feeling powerless, agrees despite being scared as if the Taliban discover her masquerade, she is certain they will kill her. Partly as a symbolic measure, the daughter plants a lock of her now cut hair in a pot so that her lost femininity can flourish. The only people outside the family who know of the ... Written by
Director Siddiq Barmak was helped in the making of his film by leading Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf who gave him $100,000 funding and the 35mm cameras and equipment he needed. Makhmalbaf also persuaded his regular cinematographer Ebrahim Ghafori to work on the project. See more »
In a time when the world is so focused on the conflict unfolding in Iraq, the thing that is most clear to me after watching this movie is the old saying that after thousands of years of wars fought in the name of religion, we are not a second closer to peace than we ever were. Osama looks at one of the many religious struggles in the world by focusing on the plight of women under the iron fist of the Taliban, one of the sickest and most debase groups on earth.
The story focuses on a young girl living in an all female family, and since they live in an area ruled by the Taliban, they are not allowed to leave the house, because women walking around unaccompanied by a male are promptly arrested and subjected to inhuman punishments. With no way to feed themselves, since women are not even allowed to leave the house, much less work, their only choice is to dress up their youngest member of the family as a boy and have her go out and find work to feed everyone else.
The most important thing that the film does is that it calls attention to the atrocities that are being committed by religious groups beyond hijacking planes or planting roadside bombs or kidnapping and beheading people. In addition to all of those horrible atrocities, there are women in Afghanistan that are literally treated not just like property, but like animals.
At one point in the movie, one character, a woman, wishes that God had never created women. The fact that she wishes that God had never created women, rather than wishing something a little more logical, like that God had never created the Taliban, serves to bring into sharp focus the extent to which the Taliban have perverted these women's minds.
The film opens with a surreal scene of a large group of women in ghostly blue burkhas in a demonstration in which they chant their desire for the right to work, for some reason seeming to have forgotten that they do not even have the right to assemble. The local Taliban, however, remembers this little detail very clearly, and starts by hosing the women down with high-pressure hoses before opening fire on them. That such madness is committed in the name of some god is an illustration of how humans can take the concept of religion and twist it so horribly wrong that they can justify doing whatever on earth they feel like.
The movie is a study not only of the atrocious practices that are carried out against women by the Taliban, but also an illustration of the elasticity of the concept of religion. Especially in America, we have this conception of religion as this benevolent force that transcends the suffering that we endure on earth and promises justification through a higher medium. Osama shows us that it is the very concept of religion that is used in some practices to justify that suffering for which we look above for reasoning and comfort.
The Taliban have succeeded in amassing all of the worst possible appropriations associated with religion, turning it from a benevolent force and into a tool with which to justify their massive destruction of human rights, which are not an American concept but a religious one.
Aristotle once said, 'I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God that has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.'
Similarly, I personally do not feel obliged to believe that any God in existence, presiding over any religious sect, could possibly approve of the wholesale torture, abuse, and destruction of women, a divine creation if there is a single one on earth.
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