Feminist Media Studies

The representation of the policewoman in the Hong Kong film /Breaking News/

by Hu Tingting (Cacee) (2020)

- BREAKING NEWS (大事件; Dai si gin; Dà shì jiàn; HK 2004, Johnnie To, 1955-).

Through the lens of an in-depth narrative analysis of the female representation in the highly recognised, award-winning Hong Kong film—Breaking News (), this study interrogates the ways in which the female police officer is represented as a typical female professional in the male-dominated police force and how this representation projects the traditional Hong Kong gender norm. In light of the model of the postfeminist working girl, this paper interweaves the Western postfeminist theories with Hong Kong sociocultural discourse and opens up a new trajectory to engage postfeminism with the cinematic representation of Hong Kong women. The analysis suggests that the female police officer is placed in an “in-between” space where she is allowed to be empowered with outstanding skills and professional competence, but ultimately contained with devalued success because of her potential victimisation or portrayal of less competence than her male counterparts. Thus, the underlining representation of the female police officer’s professionalism is presented as a cultural strategy that shows a false impression of female empowerment in which the female power is still dominated by males.

Chinese femininity; Hong Kong films; female representation; policewoman; postfeminism.

(Affiliations: Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)


Hu, Tingting (Cacee)
The representation of the policewoman in the Hong Kong film /Breaking News/.
In: Feminist Media Studies 20,6 (Aug 2020), pp. 753-767.