starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Jet Li
screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin
directed by Niki Caro
by Walter Chaw You can become an expert in the folk history of Mulan if you do a general Google search. Sufficed to say the story of Mulan is an important one for my people, and when I say "my people," I mean my parents' culture, to which I am connected despite a lifetime trying to disentangle myself from it. I read Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness decades ago and found in it the truest expression for me of...strangeness? Uncanniness? The alienation I've felt my entire life? I'm not accepted, I have come to accept, by the only culture (American) I have ever known, and my parents' culture despises me, and so here I am, an outcast caste without safe harbour. Being Asian-American for me has meant nursing an unquenchable yearning to be something else, and a wish never honoured to be mistaken for wholly acceptable. In my attempts to return to my heritage over the past decade, I've found myself discouraged by this chasm I've dug in my heart. I don't know if there's enough soil left in the world to make it whole again.