Instuctor: Anna Fahr
Date: 21 November 2014
Post-Screening discussion: Bashu the Little Stranger (1986)
and The Circle (2000)
1) Women were portrayed in post-revolutionary cinema just as they were previously presented in pre-revolutionary films as the traditional domestic role even though Iran had witnessed an increase in number of educated women. However, the occurrence of the war enticed some movies that showed another side to female roles in Iranian cinema. Nai, in “Bashu, the little stranger”, is a character that played the divine spirit of Iran that was imprisoned as a consequence of the war. In this respect, Beyzaie brought out a powerful and independent type of women to create the real meaning of womanhood in Iran. It is also portrayed that an independent and brave women can easily be shunned due to the narrow-mindedness of the community instead of valuing her worth. 2) Nai and Bashu’s relationship start off ethnocentrically, which is especially the case due to the language barrier that was separating them as well as his darker tone skin. She then, however, manages Bashu’s acceptance into her small community by firstly trying to “wash off” the darkness of his skin, as if he was one of her own. It also the case in the scene where he reads a passage from the school text book in an attempt to pacify the quarrel. Finally, his acceptance is truly shown when Bashu speaks to the husband in Persian, as well as when he is named “his right hand” shortly before they go off together to chase the wild boar. The first clear-cut and major theme as cultural difference is the national consolidation of regional diversity. Subtopics are those of critiquing Islamic values as well as patriarchy. This movie also challenges the concept of monolithic nationhood and creates a sense of togetherness by resorting through the strong human emotions. The theme of unity is also a recurring one since the audience sees how united the community is, how...
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