The Images of Vietnamese Women in Three Films by Tran Anh Hung


The Trưng sisters (c. 12 - AD 43), Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị , were Vietnamese women who rebelled against Chinese rule almost 2,000 years ago, and are regarded as national heroines of Vietnam. Highly revered in Vietnam, they led the first resistance movement against the occupying Chinese after 247 years of domination. Many temples are dedicated to them during Lunar New Year to commemorate their deaths. The story of the Trưng sisters conveys the courage and resilience of Vietnamese women that transcended from generation to generation and survived dark episodes in history such as the Vietnam War. However, the Vietnamese women were lately seen as subservient and passive both in literature and in daily life. The issue prevails as to how the popular fictional avenues, such as cinema, represent Vietnamese women to the mass audience. To address this, the trilogy of films by Tranh Anh Hung – The Scent of Green Papaya, Cyclo and Vertical Ray of the Sun – were selected. The analysis of these films conveys the passivity of women in the context of Vietnamese films. The paper aims to show the passive representation of Vietnamese women in contrast with the patriarchal image of men both in films and in the media. Moreover, an examination of the reviews of the films unveils the important contribution of Tran Anh Hung to the feminist discourse.

Author Information
Huyen Thi Vy, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2015
Stream: Humanities - Media

This paper is part of the ACAH2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon