Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:0
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
It almost seems as if the film goes out of its way to avoid getting the perspectives of any women. Did no women work at the U.S. embassy in Saigon? Were no Vietnamese wives or girlfriends or daughters of American servicemen, diplomats, or contractors available to interview about their experiences escaping Saigon? (A son is interviewed.) This may be a war movie, but the battlefield it covers is a city… where women are impacted as much as men by terrible events such as those depicted here.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? Yes (Rory Kennedy) (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Apart from one very brief historical news clip in which a female member of Congress speaks about the situation in Vietnam, no women appear on camera here, which is a huge disappointment when women — such as wives and girlfriends of American servicemen and diplomatic staff — would have been hugely impacted by the events depicted.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Last Days in Vietnam! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Last Days in Vietnam.