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Osama (2003)

PG-13 | | Drama | 27 June 2003 (Afghanistan)
After the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the restriction of women in public life, a pre-teen girl is forced to masquerade as a boy in order to find work to support her mother and grandmother.

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Osama
Khwaja Nader
Mohammad Arif Herati ... Espandi
Zubaida Sahar ... Mother
Mohamad Haref Harati
Hamida Refah
Gul Rehman Ghorbandi ... Moazin
Mohammad Nadir Khwaja ... Mullah
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

taliban | boy | girl | school | hair | See All (175) »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

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Release Date:

27 June 2003 (Afghanistan)  »

Also Known As:

Afghan Zero nen  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,969, 8 February 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,127,331, 25 April 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actors in the film, all amateurs, are people of the city of Kabul. Siddiq Barmak found the main character, Marina Golbahari, on the streets of Kabul. See more »

Goofs

The first time Osama is encouraged to climb the tree, the amount of light on her face changes between shots. The close shot shows the right side of her face in shadow, while in the long shot from the top of the tree all of her face is in sunlight. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spectacular
7 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

In Afghanistan, during the Taliban regime, women are forbidden to work and to walk on the streets without the company of a male. The teenager girl Osama (Marina Golbahari) cuts her hair and dresses like a boy to get a job and support her widow mother and grandmother. There is no men in her family, since her father and her brother were killed in previous Afghan wars, and the family has no means of survival. When Osama, disguised as a boy, is called by the Taliban to join the school and military training, the boy Espandi (Arif Herati) tries to help her.

"Osama" is a spectacular film, based on true events, and the interpretation of the amateurish cast is so perfect that sometimes the movie looks like a documentary. It is amazing how different from Western cultures is the life, religion, streets, houses of the Afghan people, and how repressed the women are in this evil system. Although being aware of many atrocities of this fanatical power, through articles in newspapers and magazines, this movie is so real and impressive that makes the viewer feel in the skin the difficulties of the life of this poor people. This is the first film made in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. In accordance with the interview of the director Siddiq Barmak in the Extras of the DVD, Marina Golbahari was accidentally discovered four days before the beginning of the shootings. The girls had never watched a movie in a theater, and did not have a TV. Two days before the beginning of the shootings, Barmak met Arif Herati, and decided to create a special character for him, not foreseen in the original screenplay. The boy requested the director to buy his dogs to accept the invitation. This movie was awarded many international prizes, among them the Golden Globe (Best Movie),Golden Camera (Cannes Festival) and Best Movie (London Festival), and certainly deserves to be among the IMDb Top 250. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Osama"


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