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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.

Director:

Siddiq Barmak

Writer:

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

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Language:

Dari | Pushto | English | French

Release Date:

27 June 2003 (Afghanistan) See more »

Also Known As:

Afghan Zero nen See more »

Filming Locations:

Kabul, Afghanistan

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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,969, 8 February 2004

Gross USA:

$1,270,904

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,910,519
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Afghanistan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. 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

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A comment on identity that transcends culture.
21 October 2005 | by gareth1-1See all my reviews

The use of Afghan culture as a medium for the commentary this film delivers shouldn't be misinterpreted. While it does serve to educate the viewer about the violent impact of religious fundamentalism and the raging inequality of conditions women have faced in Afghanistan, it also teaches the lesson of what happens when an individual defies the established rules of sexuality, a lesson that can be as relevant in Ohio as in Afghanistan. Osama is not just a girl, but a girl who masquerades as a boy in order to survive; the torment she endures in return is not just a demonstration of the cruelties of of fundamentalist Islam, but the cruelties of society as we know it.

Barbarism is not confined to any people, any nation, or any religion, and it would be a grave mistake to misinterpret (whether accidentally or otherwise) the aim of such a poignant film. Osama is skillfully produced and acted, and serves as an artful and immersive vessel for its sentiments.


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