Movie Review: Osama
Osama is a 2003 film made in Afghanistan. The film is about a twelve year old Afghan girl whose mother is a widow without any surviving male relatives. Under Taliban rule, a woman is forbidden to leave her home without a male escort, leaving the family without any support. In desperation the woman cuts the hair of her young daughter and dresses her in male clothes. Now disguised as a boy, the young girl, who now takes the name Osama (apparently a popular male and female name in that region) begins to work for a friend of the family in a small store. However the Taliban gathered together all the local boys to train them as soldiers, including Osama.
The movie is fascinating because it was filmed in Kabul with local actors and gives a portrayal of life under the Taliban. This is not a feel good movie, it won't leave you with a sense of the triumph of goodness over adversity. Sadly, sometimes that just does not happen. The movie will, however, leave you with a sense of outrage over the injustices in a sometimes cruel world.
Unfortunately, I sometimes am left with a sense of helplessness over what to do in the face of such inhumanity. We can give money for schools to organizations such as Pennies for Peace, we can support international organizations such as Unicef which work for protection of children in conflict zones, we can volunteer for agencies which promote women's empowerment such as those listed in Half the Sky , but sometimes it just feels like putting a tiny band aid on a gaping wound.
The only thing I can hope to do is work little by little, day by day, to promote a culture of peace. We can guide and educate our children to develop a sense of responsibility for the well being of others and a motivation to improve the world. Perhaps if we all do some small part in whatever way motivates us, collectively we can make a difference. The first step is awareness, and the film Osama is a definite window into that part of the world.