Martial Art Female Action Characters in Contemporary Vietnamese Cinema: Masculine Transformation and Gender Renovation


  • Liem Bui Quoc RMIT University Vietnam



female action characters, masculinity transformation, women representation, martial arts action genre


This research discusses masculine transformation and gender renovation in contemporary Vietnamese cinema with the vivid depictions of female characters playing martial arts along the men and even transforming their masculinity. However, there is limited research about examining female characters in Vietnamese action films to find how genders are renovated and transformed. Using gender stereotype study, female masculinity and content analysis,              this qualitative  research analyzed four films: The Rebel (Charlie Nguyen, 2007), Clash (Le Thanh Son, 2009), Rise (Ngo Quoc Cuong, 2014), and Furie (Le Van Kiet, 2019), to identify (1) how women re-represent their image in films, (2) how female action characters are portrayed in Vietnamese cinema, and (3) with this re-representation, how they transform the masculinity with their          active woman stereotype. Findings show that audiences get used to watching female characters in passive images and expect them to change to more masculine roles. First, women are depicted in a more consistent pattern of female characters at the age of twenties and thirties and do the occupations dominated by men. Second, they are viewed as a hero, a warrior, a fighter or a leader who manages others including men to save the country, win a business, or overcome dangerous obstacles. Third, they deal with issues and gain power to control over men, which has never happened before in Vietnam’s cinema. 




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How to Cite

Bui Quoc, L. (2022). Martial Art Female Action Characters in Contemporary Vietnamese Cinema: Masculine Transformation and Gender Renovation . Proceedings of the World Conference on Women’s Studies, 7(01), 38–49.