Furie : Autoethnography and Self-reflexivity

Furie is a Vietnamese action movie and the central theme is the maternal affection and the strength of mother while there are many cultural components.Although the main theme that is love is similar to Love for Sale which I watched and wrote a blog last week on the aspect of focusing on family, both films have totally different angles, structures, and storytelling to deliver the messages to the audience. On this week’s blog, I keep Self-reflexivity in my mind to analyse Furie.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is haiphuongngothanhvan2155636092-6465-5100-1557311436.png
Furie (2019), image, VNEXPRESS (https://vcdn-english.vnecdn.net/2019/05/08/haiphuongngothanhvan2155636092-6465-5100-1557311436.png)

Self-reflexivity is related to autoethnography which is defined as “Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience” (Ellis, Adams, and Bochner 2011). The relationship is explained as “The concept and method called auto-ethnography is an attempt at practicing this self-reflexivity by having a closer look at one’s own longings and belongings. This means the auto-ethnographer places the self within a social context by connecting the personal and the cultural.” (Alsop 2002). Recognising and understanding this point, it is possible to analyse Furie effectively.

What I would like to highlight from Furie using self-reflexivity is three points:

  1. the scene Hai who is the main character and mother told about to be strong to her daughter, Mai
  2. about the urban city that appeared in the middle in Furie
  3. the fact they did not use guns until the end of the story

The first point is that one of the scenes gave me strong impressions. When Hai told Mai to not feel scared and to be strong, I personally felt sorry for Hai because the message came from her hurt past. I analyse Hai as she holds many responsibilities and heavy burdens to protect her daughter. Putting me in Hai’s position and imagining how she has grown up and how it has affected her life is a kind of self-reflexivity even though this is all about feelings not cultural aspects.

The second point involves cultural aspects. The urban city in Vietnam is a core place for Furie and the buildings and the townscape reminds me of Tokyo because there are crowded people and most buildings are lighted up even in the night time. This recognition comes from my personal experiences and knowledge that Tokyo never is silent in the night time. Surprisingly, there are other students that talked about the same scenes even though they are not Japanese. This fact that Tokyo has this kind of stereotype can be important for understanding with autoethnography.

The last point is that they did not use guns for fighting until the end of the film. I did not realize and I did not have doubts about that until I found one tweet. The tweet made me aware of Asian action films have fighting scenes with their fists basically unlike American films. Live-tweeting activities gave me a new angle of analysing as well as new discoveries by sharing everyone’s opinions. In addition, I analyse the reason why they did not use guns is that fighting with their fists can make the scene more aggressive and serious rather than using guns.

Satomi (2020), Twitter( https://twitter.com/0810satomi/status/1293355289329057792?s=20)

At the end of this blog, I would like to mention the ending of Furie. I personally take facts that the style of ending which resolves everything and Hai and Mai could back to their happy life is an ideal ending. While when we watched Love for Sale last week, there were many arguments that criticised the ending, most people did not argue about the ending for Furie. So I consider everyone to prefer positive and clear endings as ideal even if we have different backgrounds and experiences.

References:

Alsop, Christane, K 2002, ‘Home and Away: Self-Reflexive Auto-/Ethnography’, Forum Qualitative Social Research, vo.3, no.3, viewed 14 August 2020, <http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~kmacd/IDSC10/Readings/Positionality/auto-eth.pdf>

Ellis, C, Adams, T.E, and Bochner, A.P 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, no. 1, viewed 6 August 2020, <https://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095>

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