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Recipient of a Special Mention at Cannes 2003, Osama is remarkable not only for its masterful storytelling and emotional resonance, but it is the first film to emerge from Afghanistan since the Taliban was toppled.The power of the film lies in its immediacy, as this accomplished debut feature was directed by Siddiq Barmak, who was exiled under the Taliban and returned to make Osama late in 2002.

Living under the oppressive Taliban regime, a 12-year-old girl and her doctor mother lose their jobs at a hospital, virtually rendering them housebound, as they cannot leave their house without a 'legal companion' and are forbidden to make a living. The girl's mother and grandmother hatch a plan to cut her hair and change her clothes, to disguise her as a boy. Fearful of being discovered for who she is, the young girl—who renames herself 'Osama'—begins work for a local milkman, who was a friend of her slain father. As kind and generous as the milkman is, the journey ahead for young 'Osama' is littered with unscrupulous characters and filled with perilous situations. Osama is a compelling and emotional film experience. A cry of courage.