Directed by Siddiq Barmak, starring Marina Golbahari, Mohmmad Nadre Khwaja, Mohmmad Arif Herati, Zubaida Sahar and Hamida Refah.
With her husband dead, a woman's (Sahar) life under the Taliban plunges further into horror. She loses her job when a hospital is closed down and is forced to consider desperate measures if she, her elderly mother (Refah) and her 12-year-old daughter (Golbahari) are to survive. Disguising the young girl as a boy, she manages to find her work in a shop owned by a former acquaintance of her late husband. But a dangerous situation becomes even more precarious when 'Osama' is taken from the shop and brought to a Taliban school.
The first film made in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, 'Osama's recent Golden Globe win for Best Foreign Film is just the latest in a string of awards stretching back to last year's Cannes Film Festival. Its director Siddiq Barmak's documentaries and short films were all confiscated during the Taliban's regime, and he was also forced to go into exile in Pakistan. That he begins his feature-length debut with a quote from Nelson Mandela, "I cannot forget but I can forgive", is a lesson in humility that becomes harder to agree with as the film unfolds.
If ever a story could be completely told by the look in someone's eyes it's this one. Here, first-time actor Golbahari - 11-years-old when this film was made - brilliantly conveys the horror and destruction of spirit as she attempts to eke out a living for three generations of women who have seen time moving in reverse. What happens to them is grim and relentless and with an ending devoid of solace.
But just how many films make you angry these days for all the right reasons?