Joshua Rich
May 07, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Osama

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
82 minutes
Limited Release Date
01/30/04
performer
Marina Golbahari, Arif Herati, Zubaida Sahar
director
Siddiq Barmak
distributor
United Artists (MGM)
author
Siddiq Barmak
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

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.

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