This week in BCM320 we watched the Vietnamese film, Furie. The film follows Hai, played by Victoria Ngo, as her daughter is kidnapped by human traffickers and she chases them from her small village to the nearby city of Saigon to find and rescue her daughter, when along the way she discovers her daughter is not the only child who they kidnapped.
During the film we find out details about Hai’s past, and why she is living in a small village as a single mother working as a debt collector. While I have very little connection to Vietnam, the film did a great job of show casing aspects of the culture and environment that would seem normal to someone who had a connection to it. Something that I was able to relate to greatly however, was the feminist aspects of the film and the mother daughter relationship we got to see on screen.
The film starts with Hai’s daughter, Mai being bullied for her upbringing, and the fact that her mother is a debt collector in the village, something that Mai also expresses is a bad thing, saying she doest want to grow up like her mother. During the beginning of the film we also get to see adults treating the family the same way, as Mai is accused of stealing a mans wallet in the markets, when in fact she had just found it on the floor and was about to give it to a shop owner.
At the end of the film, after fighting incredibly hard to find her, Hai and Mai are reunited and both end up safe and sound. Mai, on her way into the hospital room her mother is in, runs into a group of kids her age, just like at the beginning of the film, but this time they greet her as a friend, and Mai tells her mother how she wants to grow up and be a hero, just like she is.
Ellis et al. state in Auto-ethnography: An Overview. (2011) that “When researchers do autoethnography, they retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and/or by possessing a particular cultural identity. ‘ The epiphany that I got when looking into the culture shown in this film was that I wish there where more films like this one. Myself and a few others tweeted during the film about how we normally where not fans of fight scenes and tend to get a bit bored during them, but that the fights in this film kept us engaged and on the edge of our seats. Another thing this film made me realise was that I need to watch more films like this, action films with a strong female lead, and I feel like another film that Victoria Ngo has recently started in, The Old Guard is one that I would recommend to anyone also looking for that kind of film.
Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095