The Representation of Women Warrior in Zhang Che’s ‘Golden Swallow’

Abstract

Zhang Che, the late master of Hong Kong action cinema, has been seen as an important industrial player that influenced the landscape of popular cinema in negotiating, redefining and formatting the representation of gender identity since the 1960s. The achievement of Zhang has always been associated with his portrayal of male heroism in action films. However, the industrial circumstances for his films to thrive were forced to engage with the notion of ‘women as spectacle would guarantee box-office successes" in those days. It is within such a background, this article examines the cinematic figuration of women warrior in Zhang's seminal film entitled Golden Swallow (1968) in order to reveal the underpinning ideology of patriarchy within the film through the mechanism of representation. This study will use the framework of feminist film theory to critically analyze the representation of women warrior in Zhang's film in order to demonstrate how a culturally specific woman warrior coexists within the Chinese patriarchal conservatism. It is argued that the mode of narration in this film plays a great role by restricting the portrayal of women warrior within the lines of domestic relations such as daughter, wife and mother, or in a sexually defined role such as prostitute, mistress and lover.



Author Information
Sheau-Shi Ngo, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2013
Stream: Arts & Humanities

This paper is part of the ACAH2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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