This essay analyzes three experimental short films made by Southeast Asian women filmmakers: Jai (Love, 2008), directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong of Thailand; Shotgun Tuding (2014), directed by Shireen Seno of the Philippines; and Eleven Men (2016), directed by Nguyễn Trinh Thi of Vietnam. Each deploys a critique of national historiography through specific formal strategies: constructing a recursive temporality (Jai), using anachronistic media (Shotgun Tuding), or privileging image over event (Eleven Men). These formal strategies create a gendered, reflexive view of the historiographic process through their frictions with official, national histories. At the same time the films nod to, and at times engage with, the transnational networks that brought them into being. The essay considers how the films and the filmmakers who made them negotiate local arts activism, transnational funding structures, and commitments to national histories. It argues that their textual and institutional parallels sketch the possibility of a regional, Southeast Asian imaginary for women's filmmaking.
Gendering National Histories and Regional Imaginaries: Three Southeast Asian Women Filmmakers
Jasmine Nadua Trice is an assistant professor of cinema and media studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research and teaching interests include cultures of exhibition and moviegoing, Asian cinemas, transnational media, and media urbanism. Her book manuscript on alternative film cultures in Manila, the Philippines, is under contract with Duke University Press. She has also developed a companion website for the project at http://www.cityofscreens.space/. Her scholarly work has appeared in Asian Cinema, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Feminist Media Studies, and The Projector: Journal of Media and Culture. From 2016 to 2018, she was coinvestigator for a four-country research network on Southeast Asian cinemas funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council and organized in collaboration with the Association for Southeast Asian Cinemas. Before her time at UCLA, she taught at the National University of Singapore and worked in feminist media activism in Manila.
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Jasmine Nadua Trice; Gendering National Histories and Regional Imaginaries: Three Southeast Asian Women Filmmakers. Feminist Media Histories 1 January 2019; 5 (1): 11–38. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2019.5.1.11
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