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MULAN (2020)

Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie: Mulan
The AD 6th Century Poem Vs. the 2020 Disney Live-Action Film

The Margos are celebrating AAPI month and we are very excited about the heroine from the poem Ode to Mulan who was either a real-life Calvary soldier or not. Her bravery (fighting against “nomadic hordes”) in replacing her father in battle by disguising herself as a boy has been told since the 6th Century AD.

First transcribed in the Musical Records of Old and New, during the Southern Chen dynasty (according to Wikipedia!) it was first adapted as a play in 1593 and subsequent versions used different names for the lead character. The family name is Hua which means flower and Mulan stands for “Magnolia” in Chinese.

The Ballad of Mulan takes place in Northern China with Mulan’s father being asked to fight off the nomadic Rourans. However, he is too old for battle and her brother is too young–so she goes to fight instead. She fights for ten years and is then asked what reward she would like for her efforts. She asks to go home and return to her former life. In the end, she claims women and men fighting next to each other should not be an anomaly.

There have been several films and operas based on the story of Mulan and in this episode, we discuss the 2020 live-action version directed by Niki Caro and starring Yifei Liu, Jet Li, and Gong Li.

This episode is sponsored by Kensington Books and Unstable by Alexandra Ivy.
The third in a small town thriller series, which emphasizes the creepiness of small towns that hide a lot of secrets!

In New York Times, bestselling author Alexandra Ivy’s third bone-chilling romantic thriller set in Pike, Wisconsin, a small town with more secrets than residents, a cold case expert and her sheriff ex-husband reunite to solve a cold case when footage of a bound a gagged girl is discovered on a mysterious old VHS tape.

Alexandra Ivy is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romantic suspense, paranormal, and erotic romance. You can find her online at AlexandraIvy.com and on social media on Twitter at @AlexandraIvy.

In this ep the Margos discuss:
The background of the poem
Women “passing” for men in art and storytelling
Disney’s changes to the script and the importance of the cast
The cast: Yifei Liu (Mulan,) Donnie Yen (Commander Tung,) Gong Li (Xianniang,) Jason Scott Lee (Bori Kahn,) Jet Li (the Emperor of China,) Yoson An (Chen Honghui,) and Rosalind Chao as Hua Li.

Clips used:
Mulan bathing in the lake scene
Mulan 2020 trailer
Mulan revelation scene
Ballad of Mulan by By the Book (YouTube)
Mulan Vs Xiannaing
Music by Harry Gregson Williams

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