Osama Siddiq Barmak's brief, searing dramatic study of a girl's life under the Taliban features some beautiful camera work and frighteningly convincing performances against a bitterly… Osama Siddiq Barmak's brief, searing dramatic study of a girl's life under the Taliban features some beautiful camera work and frighteningly convincing performances against a bitterly…
Movie on DVD Review

Osama (2004)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Apr 27, 2004; DVD Release Date: Apr 27, 2004; Movie Rated: PG-13; Genre: Drama; With: Marina Golbahari, Arif Herati and Zubaida Sahar; Distributor: United Artists (MGM)

Siddiq Barmak's brief, searing dramatic study of a girl's life under the Taliban features some beautiful camera work and frighteningly convincing performances against a bitterly bleak backdrop. In other words, it has plenty more to boast about besides being the first movie made in Afghanistan since that country's liberation. Given such a weighty calling card, it's a relief that Barmak clearly gave Osama his all, blending the finest elements of cinema verite (a documentary-esque presentation) and Italian neorealism (amateur actors like the stunning, 12-year-old Golbahari, who spends much of the movie in the guise of a boy) to create a truly important film that stands out on the video store shelf. EXTRAS A 22-minute interview with the director doesn't live up to the standard of the Golden Globe-winning feature.

Originally posted May 07, 2004 Published in issue #764 May 07, 2004 Order article reprints
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