A List of Fictional Ladies → O-Ren Ishii
As your leader, I encourage you, from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic. If you’re unconvinced that a particular plan of action I’ve decided is the wisest, tell me so, but allow me to convince you. And I promise you right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo. Except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is… I collect your fucking head. Just like this fucker here. Now, if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, now’s the fucking time!
yaaaaaas this woman. i was ALL about O-Ren and Gogo. i really wanted them to chop that blonde lady with the shit japanese skills up. who had the NERVE to be named black mamba with her extra fair ass. smh.
tl;dr O-Ren was much more of a beast than black mamaba could have POSSIBLY been.
Yep. In Hollywood martial arts movies, it’s integral to the strategic rhetoric of whiteness that a white protagonist is able to learn Asian martial arts in no time and then defeat all the Asians who have spent their lives studying. So in Kill Bill, The Bride (Beatrix Kiddo/Black Mamba/Uma Thurman) spends a year under the cruel tutelage of Pai Mei and has mastered kung fu (nah man, it takes a lifetime). And she is apparently so powerful with a katana that Hattori Hanzo breaks his vow and comes out of retirement to craft a katana for her. So Tarantino uses Pai Mei and Hattori Hanzo as the “Appeal To Melanin” in order to establish The Bride’s martial arts legitimacy, before she goes on to cut down the Crazy 88 and O-Ren. Also note that Pai Mei is killed by another white woman, Elle Driver, which Beatrix Kiddo avenges by plucking out her eye. We also learn that Pai Mei does not teach the Five-Point-Palm Exploding-Heart Technique to anyone — except for the white protagonist, Beatrix Kiddo, who deploys the technique to finish Bill. That’s how it all goes in the whiteness rhetoric of a Hollywood martial arts movie.
Add in one more, and the reason I hate this movie: The need for POC to emotionally submit to the white protagonist.
Aside from Pai Mei and Hanzo Hattori having to be all, “Hey random white person, you are worthy of our best shit!”, O-Ren Ishii has to apologize and ACKNOWLEDGE THE WHITE PROTAGONIST’S SUPREMACY as part of the story.
It’s not enough to die, there has to be explicit statements of inferiority to make the story complete.
I get why a lot of people love this movie, which I feel is both a) not having seen the movies all the fight scenes are stolen from, and b) American cinema NEVER giving women kick ass roles, but… I just can’t with the over the top white supremacy of this shit.
This is the first time I’ve read this articulated in this way. I remember when I saw this feeling really weird, but I wasn’t able to articulate it, or see everything clearly since no one around me seemed to notice anything wrong.