Centre stage

Gender representations in Taiwan cinema

Authored by: Chun-Chi Wang

Routledge Handbook of East Asian Gender Studies

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138959897
eBook ISBN: 9781315660523
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315660523-19

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Abstract

Representations of gender have occupied a significant role throughout the history of postwar Taiwan cinema. Telling women’s stories, despite different purposes, has been a tendency until modern-today. This chapter provides an overview of the representation of gender in Taiwan cinema, with the discussion being divided into two sections. The first section is a historical survey of how women are represented in films ranging from the 1960s to the 1990s, including Taiyupian (Taiwan-language cinema), health realism, romantic melodrama films based on novels by Qiong Yao, sexploitative social realist films and Taiwan New Cinema. The aforementioned second section analyses more contemporary films by discussing the representations of three major social groups – indigenous women, LGBTQ and female marriage migrants – whose cinematic representations have become more prominent in recent years. This organisation suggests, by no means, representational absence of these three groups in films before the 1980s, but a focus on recent films helps to shed light on changing concerns in Taiwanese society in which women’s issues intersect with multiple sexualities, races and ethnicities, as well as globalisation.

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