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USA: United Artists / Metro Goldwyn Mayer
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Marina Golbahari, Arif Herati, Zubaida Sahar, Gol Rahman Ghorbandi, Mohamad Haref Harati, Mohamad Nader Khadjeh, Khwaja Nader, Hamida Refah
Director: Sedigh Barmak
Language: Afghan Pashtu (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 82 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic elements
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate emotional distress
USA Release Date: 6 February 2004 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 13 February 2004 (Limited Release - London)
The first film from Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, Siddiq Barmak's stunning OSAMA received Best Foreign Language Film, Golden Globes 2004, SUTHERLAND AWARD at the 2003 London Film Festival, Directors Fortnight Cannes film festival 2003, Cannes Youth Jury's Best Film prize and Special Mention for the Camera d'Or
Through the lens of a Western news cameraman, street urchin Espandi leads the way to a remarkable protest by blue-veiled women whose demonstrations are swiftly swept from the streets of Kabul. Among the crowds is a young, nameless girl (Marina Golbahari) who finds herself shorn and disguised as a boy in order to work. But when she is rounded up and sent to a religious school where she is named Osama, her disguise dramatically falters and she embarks on a further odyssey through the judicial system of the Taliban.
From a country that has produced less than 40 films in the past century, Afghanistan's first Academy nomination is a passionate and lyrical film full of exquisitely surreal imagery and evocative of its spiritual godfather (and uncredited producer) Mohsen Makhmalbaf's now-legendary Kandahar.