The Rebel (2007)

The Rebel (Dòng Máu Anh Hùng), a 2007 film directed by a Vietnamese American, Charlie Nguyen, is about an ongoing resistance movement in 1922. The Rebel is a Vietnamese blockbuster martial arts film and considered to highlight of Vietnam contemporary modern cinema. The plot is about a rebellious village in the 1920s that consistently attempts to assassinate French military officers. The female protagonist’s character, Thuy, a rebel that falls in love with a working agent Cuong, who is hired by the French to put an end to rebellions in Vietnam.

Cuong gets caught up with his consciousness for killing a little boy and turns him into a rebel himself. Together, he and Thuy become a wanted fugitive. Besides the romance between the two main characters and Cuong is the star of this film, I want to focus on Thuy’s character. She is the rebel leader’s daughter and a skilled martial artist. She later becomes a central hope for the movement because her father is captured by Sy, sadistic secret police. Thuy and Cuong have to rescue her father to save the movement and bring hope back to the village people. The portrayal of Vietnamese women in this film embodies the national narrative on Vietnamese nationalism. Even though this is a contemporary take on a fictional story about Vietnam history during the French occupation period, this film …

Whether these films are accurately depicted the characteristics of Vietnamese women or not, these interpretations provide a different narrative to re-think of the past and reevaluate the women’s role in society. Also, these representations of women demonstrate how history is remembered and told to the public, which has significant influences on the historical narrative.


(The White Silk Dress)