I decided to go the more mainstream route and write about the Kill Bill films, both directed by Quentin Tarantino, and released in 2003 (Volume 1) and 2004 (Volume 2). As films about a female assassin's road to revenge, with many female foes, I felt that this film had a lot to say about femininity, no matter how deep it was buried.
Unfortunately, as the films are based off of many international genres, there was a lot to say about race as well, but unfortunately, that would have constituded a second paper, so I summed that up as white girl kicks colored peoples' asses. I also addressed the fact that the films were based on genres that already were ripe with racism, and that Tarantino has not been one to dismiss other cultures.
My main focus was on the way people looked at each other. I found that it was in this that the Bride's (Uma Thurman's) gaze, in order to oppose the demeaning gazes held by her adversaries. This can be seen best during the fight with O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) at the end of Volume 1.
She only lets her panicked, caring feminine side show only when she is out of sight or in a particularly stressful state, but this leaves her open to weakness. She falters in order to appease her nurturing instincts This is seen during the fight with teenage Go-Go Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama) in Volume 1, and better yet, after meeting her daughter in Volume 2. These characters were of particular note because they met the Bride's oppositional gaze with a opposing gaze of their own.
The Bride eventually confronts her feminine side in the form of Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) in Volume 2. Elle represents all that is bad about femininity: she is greedy, manipulative, and spiteful. She also has an impaired gaze (she lost an eye to a misogyinistic kung fu master), so her view of the world is, pardon the pun, one sided. The Bride fights her in a guise of masculinity, but they are still mirror opposites, which the scene shows by making them, in a shot-reverse-shot sequence, fill the exact same areas of the screen. The Bride finally undoes the bad woman by mimicing the bad man (she rips Elle's other eye out).
By the end of the film, when she has her revenge and her daughter, the Bride finally accepts her femininity, albeit without it's negative aspects. Ultimately, I think the film is feminist, but it does take a roundabout way of getting there.