A powerful, unforgettable harrowing examination of the lives of the Afghan people – shot entirely on location in Afghanistan since the rise and fall of the Taliban.

Osama (اسامه‎‎) is a 2003 Afghanistan drama directed by Siddiq Barmak and starring Marina Golbahari, Arif Herati and Zubaida Sahar.

Inspired by a true story, the film follows a family in Afghanistan made up of three generations of women: Golbahari, a 12-year-old girl, her mother and her grandmother.

As the Taliban begin to take over Afghanistan, the country’s women find themselves forbidden to leave their houses without a ‘legal companion’, who must be a boy or a man.

With all the male members of their family dead, they find themselves with no one left to support the family, and no way of being able to leave the house.

Feeling that they have no other choice, the mother and grandmother disguise Golbahari as a boy. Now called Osama, the girl embarks on a terrifying journey as she tries to keep the Taliban from finding out her true identity.

The Taliban are a Islamic fundamentalist group currently waging war within Afghanistan. They have been condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which has resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans, especially women. 

Osama was the first film to be shot entirely in Afghanistan since 1996, when the Taliban regime banned the creation of all films, making it’s mere existence a remarkable achievement.

The first offers a heartbreaking look back at life under that regime. Bleak, and all too realistic, the film has an almost documentary feel about it. It offers valuable insights into a culture that few of us have more than a cursory knowledge about.

Osama received critical praise upon it’s release.

Watch the official trailer for Osama HERE: