Chan is Missing (1982)

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Chan is Missing is an Asian-American film produced and directed by Wayne Wang in 1982. It is widely recognized as the first Asian American feature narrative film to gain both theatrical distribution and critical acclaim outside of the Asian American community. The film, which is shot in black and white, is plotted as a mystery with film noir undertones, and its title is a play on the popular Charlie Chan film series which focuses on a fictional Chinese immigrant detective in Honolulu. Chan Is Missing turns the Charlie Chan detective trope on its head by making "Chan" the missing person that the movie's two protagonists, Jo and Steve, search for. In the process of trying to locate Chan, a fractured, even contradictory portrait of him emerges, mirroring the complexities of the polyglot Chinese American community that Chan's character allegorizes.

Vincent Canby of The New York Times said in his review that "Chan Is Missing is not only an appreciation of a way of life that few of us know anything about; it's a revelation of a marvelous, completely secure new talent." In 1995, Chan Is Missing was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".