Osama is an Afghan movie directed in 2003, by Sidiq Barmak an intellegent Afghan film director. The movie is the first production shot in Afghanistan after the collapse of Taliban regime in 2001. The story of Osama movie is about a 12-years old Afghan girl and her mother, who both lost their jobs when the Taliban closed the hospital where, they were working.
Taliban have forbidden women to leave their houses without a male "legal companion" and the mother of the girl has lost her husband and brother in the war, and there is no one left to support the family. Without being able to leave the house, the mother is left alone with nowhere to turn. Feeling that she has no other choice. She becomes inspired by a story of her mother about a boy who went under a rainbow and became a girl, so she disguises her daughter as a boy and names her 'Osamma'. The girl embarks on a terrifying and confusing journey as she tries to keep the Taliban from finding out her true identity.
Osama manages to secure a job at the local chai tea shop, but 'his' effeminate ways quickly arouse suspicion among the other boys. It was inspired by a true story, Osama movie is the first entirely Afghan film shot since the fall of the Taliban. Eventually, in a drive to collect soldiers, the local boys, including Osama, are taken from their homes or work by the Taliban to be trained as soldiers. At the training school, they are taught how to fight and conduct ablutions, and Osama realizes it can only be so long before she is found out. Several of the boys begin to pick on her, and eventually her secret is revealed in one of the movie's most vicious and disturbing scenes. Arrested, she is put on trial, and as this case is without precedent, her life is spared when she is given in marriage to an old man (Khawaja Nader) who has played the ‘spice merchant’ in Kite Runner movie. The new husband already has three wives, all of whom hate him and say that he destroyed their lives, and they take pity on her.
The director said that the story was partially inspired by a girl he once met, who disguised herself as a boy in order to attend school. It has also been said that this movie might have been at least partially inspired by a newspaper report in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban.
Location of the movie:
The movie was filmed in Kabul, Afghanistan and the pre production began in April, 2002 and was completed in March 2003 with a budget of approximately $46,000 USD. Most of the actors in the film are amateurs found by the director on the streets of Kabul. The movie was originally entitled as "Rainbow," and ended on a hopeful note. Meaning that Osama passing under a rainbow and gaining her freedom. As time went on, however, the director grew dissatisfied with the ending, he cut out some scenes in the movie that expressed hope and changed its title.
Awards and nominations:
Bratislava International Film Festival (2003)
Awarded "Special Mention"
Nominated "Grand Prix for F1"
Cannes Film Festival (2003)
Awarded "AFCAE Award"
Awarded "Cannes Junior Award"
Awarded "Golden Camera - Special Mention"
Cinemanila International Film Festival (2004)
Awarded "Best Actress" - Marina Golbahari, tied with Katherine Luna for Babae sa Breakwater
Nominated "Lino Brocka Award"
Golden Globes, USA (2004)
Awarded "Golden Globe Best Foreign Language Film" - Afghanistan
Golden Satellite Awards (2004)
Nominated "Golden Satellite Award Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language" - Afghanistan/Iran
Golden Trailer Awards (2004)
Won "Golden Trailer Best Foreign"
Kerala International Film Festival (2003)
Won "Audience Award"
London Film Festival (2004)
Won Sutherland Trophy
Molodist International Film Festival (2003)
Won "Best Film Award Best Full-Length Fiction Film"
Won "Best Young Actor Award" - Marina Golbahari
Pusan International Film Festival (2003)
Won "New Currents Award" - Special Mention
Won "PSB Audience Award", tied with Seontaek
Valladolid International Film Festival (2003)
Won "Golden Spike," tied with Talaye Sorkh
Young Artist Awards (2004)
Nominated "Young Artist Award Best International Feature Film"