i see lucy as a racist film that plays on negative stereotypes while hiding behind the cover of (white) feminism.
all this film has done is switch out the white man for a white woman. it’s still a film about a white person getting violated by the evil poc, then gaining power and wiping them out.
here’s 2 of my favourite scenes from the trailer:
from top to left to right:
KEEP CLEAN 保持清潔，APPLE 蘋果，ONION 洋蔥，GRAPE 葡萄，CHAIR 椅子，TOMATO 番茄
traditional chinese is an actual written language used by millions of people, not symbols to be thrown around at the whim of set designers because they look cool and idk, serves to create a menacing asian atmosphere. this is so disrespectful, and made even worse by the fact that this film in set it taipei, taiwan where the official written language is traditional chinese.
it doesn’t matter that this film caters to a primarily “white” audience who won’t be able to read it, the language and culture of taiwan isn’t something for you to twist and use as you deem fit because it’s “exotic.”
lucy shoots a guy for not being able to speak english.
she l i t e r a l l y shoots this taiwanese taxi driver, in taiwan for not being able to speak english. she’s in taipei and she’s shooting people as they are of no use to her because they don’t speak english.
just think about the sort of message that’s sending out. she’s not being “bad-ass strong female character who takes no shit,” she’s saying that english is useful and better. this is the type of harmful ideology that stretches all the way back from when western countries were colonising and forcing their language and customs on other countries.
let me explain with a real life example. i was born in new zealand to two taiwanese parents. i am fluent in english, but mandarin is conversational at best. my friends in taiwan say that i am “so lucky” to speak fluent english, when they are fluent in mandarin and their english level is no worse than my mandarin. they tell me that they want to perfect their english but in the same breath tell me that mandarin isn’t worth perfecting because i have english and that’s “enough”. they also tell me how pretty my white friends are when they see pictures.
this is the type of neo imperialism ideology that they’ve grown up buying into. it honestly hurts and frustrates me that they belittle their own culture like this, honestly believing that the western world is superior. this is the type of neo imperialism ideology that this film (hopefully unintentionally) promotes: white people are better and will save the day.
if they wanted to film a movie about a white women getting back at those who had violated her, why not film it in a western country? if they wanted to film it in taiwan, why not find an asian lead actress?
i do agree that we need more women protagonists in action/superhero movies, but not like this. its not okay that the female lead needs to be kidnapped and have her body cut open without her consent in order to gain her powers, and those said those powers do not make any of this racist bullshit okay.
i am just so tired and angry of poc always being brushed off to the side as either props or villains in mainstream media.
as a poc, it’s so frustrating to see that the of the standard of beauty still white women when we live in multi-cultural societies and a diverse world.
feminism is about equality. a film in which poc are presented as evil and inferior before being killed off by a superior white woman does not promote equality.
When I saw the trailer for this movie I was bothered by the stupid premise (‘we only use 10% of our brain’ NO, WE DON’T), by the racist setting, and, yes, by the expectation that I should see this and be grateful because it had a woman lead.
The guy friend I was at the cinema with, when I commented that the premise was annoying, said that ‘Yes, but it’s the first proper superhero film with a female lead’ and I… it’s not? That’s a problematic idea in itself?*
OK, TV movie, but I don’t think we should forget her.
Don’t have to like the film to concede it exists.
Yeah, it’s also a vampire movie, but I don’t know that that rules it out.
So successful it had a franchise.
Don’t frigging tell me Buffy isn’t a superhero, and don’t frigging tell me this doesn’t count just because the TV series was better.
I feel like talk of what makes a ‘proper’ superhero film only gets applied because we’re looking to exclude something - namely: women’s contributions to the genre. And I refuse to regard Lucy as the ‘first’ ‘proper’ superhero film with a female lead, not just because it ignores the others, but because it then puts the weight back on this single movie to stand for us.
This has a two-fold effect. Firstly, it presses us to ignore, or put up with, the film’s problematic areas: the violation of the female lead; the fact that her powers are *given* to her by men, rather than innate; the racism; the stupid bloody premise. Secondly: even as women are persuaded to ignore these things, they can simultaneously be used to condemn all female led superhero films, because this film has been set up to stand for all.
So, look, I haven’t seen Lucy. It looked like a dumb premise and I was concerned by the racism. People will say that I ought to see it. But reports of it come back saying it is problematic for both women and race. And… no.
WE DON’T HAVE TO ACCEPT WHATEVER YOU GIVE US AS GOOD ENOUGH. AND WE DON’T HAVE TO ACCEPT YOUR DEFINITIONS TO SAY WHAT ‘COUNTS’ AND DEFINE WHAT WE CAN ADD TO OUR HISTORY.
*I should say that this guy is a stand-up dude, it just illustrates how insideous this shit is, even for allies.