The Lover (1992)

R | Biography, Drama, Romance | 30 October 1992 (USA)

The Lover touches very little on the discussion about French colonialism, but it represents the stereotype on colonized peoples. This film favors the idea of colonialism, a nostalgia of great colonial life in Vietnam, Indochina. The film is surrounded by the affair between a Chinese man with a young French teenager, and the plot is set in Vietnam. Both characters do not have a name, which casts as a fantasy to any man or woman. The way the film depicts the Chinese man as permissive to the young girl-empowering the social and racial status. As a man, he is inferior to a white woman and unable to make his own decision. For example, he depends on his father’s money; he does not know anything about the family business and only spends money on opium and prostitute. Even though he loves her, but he cannot stand up to his father, if he does, he is afraid that he could lose the family fortune. He agrees to marry a wealthy Mandarin woman so the family can continue to keep their wealth. The idea of arranged marriage represents an oriental tradition that many Westerners believed to be backwardness. As for a man to be depicted as inferior to a woman, it describes a general perspective of Western culture and society is more advanced and superior compared to ‘the East’ in the twentieth century.

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    (Indochine 1992)                                                                                                                                                                       (The Scent of Green Papaya 1993)