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Bashu, the Little Stranger (1989)

Bashu, gharibeye koochak (original title)
Lost in a foreign part of the country after running away for his life, a little boy whose family have been killed during the war is saved and trained by a middle-aged woman.


Bahram Beizai


Bahram Beizai




Credited cast:
Susan Taslimi ... Naii
Parviz Poorhosseini ... Naii's husband
Adnan Afravian Adnan Afravian ... Bashu
Bashu Bashu ... Adnan Afravian
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Akbar Doodkar Akbar Doodkar
Farokhlagha Hushmand Farokhlagha Hushmand


During the Iran-Iraq War, Bashu, a young boy loses his house and all his family. Scared, he sneaks into a truck that is leaving the area. He gets off the truck in the Northern part of the country, where everything from landscape to language is different. He meets Naii, who is trying to raise her two young children on a farm, while her husband is away. Despite cultural differences, and the fact that they do not speak the same language, Bashu and Naii slowly form a strong bond Written by Sam Tabibnia <samtab@uclink.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | War


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Did You Know?


When Na'i becomes sick and the villagers won't help, Bashu performs a zar ceremony. Zar refers to an African belief that the body has been possessed by an evil wind, and in order to be cured, a ceremony involving drumming and chanting must take place to subdue the wind and return the afflicted to health. It was brought to Iran by Africans (many of them through the slave trade). See more »


Referenced in Asho (2019) See more »

User Reviews

The little refugee!
2 December 2000 | by hotadresSee all my reviews

Most striking in this Middle-Eastern film are the subtle reflection of the beautiful nature against a background of a senseless war and intolerant human beings. You can see the film just for enjoyment and you can keep thinking about every scene for a long time.

The story begins with Bashu, the child who wakes up seeing his mother burning up in flames, his father disappearing under wreckage of their house and his sister vanishing in the midst of Iraqi bombardment during Iraq-Iran war. The perplexed child gets deaf and run into the back of a truck, which carries him to another part of the country. The same country, yet entirely a different world: another language, another skin color, different clothes, more green fields, less sand, different Iranians...etc.

So much difference in a country supposed to be made of one nation. An illusion most authorities in the region try make their people believe in instead of encouraging tolerance among their subjects. However, Bashu would be lucky enough to find the mother Naii who is a strong woman, independent, courageous and stubborn. She is caring for her two children, chickens and other animals and gives Bashu enough tenderness that makes him smile again despite the new environment, the new language, the rejection of other villagers and flash backs of his tragic family loss. It is no wonder that Bashu sees the ghost of his real mother most of the time next to Naii.

A less convincing scene was the return of Naii's husband. It might be due to censorship that it would be said in the film that Naii's husband was looking for work. It is more digestible for the audience to be told that the man has lost this arm in the war than saying that he lost it while looking for work!

Bahram Beizai shows us how independent and smart a woman can be, yet feminine and loveable.

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Official Sites:





Arabic | Persian

Release Date:

3 April 1991 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Bashu, el pequeño extraño See more »

Filming Locations:

Gilan, Iran

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kanun parvaresh fekri See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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