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 gra... Read allAfter 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.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.
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.
- Nov 30, 2004