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Chan Is Missing

DIRECTED BY - Wayne Wang

After working in Hong Kong television, Wayne Wang shot this low-budget 16mm black-and-white feature on the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown. CHAN IS MISSING follows the lives of two Chinese cabdrivers, Jo (Wood Moy), a middle-aged man, and Steve (Marc Hayashi), his young partner. Although both are American-born, there is a definite generation gap in their attitudes toward how to achieve an authentic ethnic identity, both inside and outside of Chinatown. The meandering story starts when Chan Hung, a recent immigrant from Taiwan, disappears with $4,000 they gave him to secure a cab license for them. Their attempt to find him, complete with the inevitable Charlie Chan jokes, leads them into a complex world of international politics and domestic conflicts. This is a fascinating glimpse of the world of ABCs (American-born Chinese) and FOBs (fresh off the boat) and their allegiance to either Taiwan or Mainland China. Steve and Jo trace Chan's life back from a car accident that may have caused his disappearance to a mysterious missing photograph of a murder at the New Year's Day parade. Through all this Jo provides a voice-over that, ironically, explains that he has no idea what's going on. But as he tries to piece the mystery together, this wry amateur detective provides an incisive look at the cultural conflicts facing Chinese-Americans.

GENRES - action, comedy, drama

Film Info

RUNTIME - 80 minutes

RATING - Not Rated

YEAR - 1981

FORMAT - DVD Region 1

COUNTRY - United States

LANGUAGE - English, Cantonese


ATTRIBUTES - Black & White, Full-Frame


Wayne Wang


Laureen Chew


Peter Wang


Marc Hayashi


Presco Tabios


Wood Moy


Judi Nihei



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