Gender Identity Conflict in “Farewell My Concubine” (1993) by Chen Kaige


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Essay #: 070133
Total text length is 6,694 characters (approximately 4.6 pages).

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The beginning:
A Film Review of the Gender Identity Conflict in Farewell My Concubine (1993) by Chen Kaige
This film review will analyze the conflict orientated issue of gender identity within the patriarchal historical context of 20th century opera in the film Farewell My Concubine (1993). The two main characters Douzi (Leslie Cheung) and Shitou (Zhang Fengyi) are historically represented through their lives during the turmoil of Chinese political upheaval as a way to express the changing values of gender in Chinese theater culture. Kaige challenges audiences to understand the patriarchal values of male-only actors in the Beijing Opera, which inevitably force transvestite characters like Douzi into having romantic feelings for Shitou. In essence, the...
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.....mplex roles that Chinese opera troupes embody during the 20th century. By examining the conflict of gender identity in Douzi and Shitou, this film provides insight into the highly varied nature of male/female personality that defines the Beijing Opera and its performers.
Farewell My Concubine. (1999). Dir. Chen Kaige. Perfs. Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang. USA; Miramax.
Hok-Sze Leung, H. (2010). Farewell My Concubine: A queer film classic. New York: Arsenal Pulp Press.
Kwok, J. & W. Lau. (1995). "Farewell My Concubine": History, melodrama, and ideology in contemporary pan-Chinese cinema. Film Quarterly Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 16-27
Sullivan, G. (2001). Gay and lesbian Asia: Culture, identity, community. New York/ London: Routledge.