This screenplay of Wayne Wang's widely acclaimed first film includes an English translation of scenes spoken in Chinese, as well as a Chinese character text of those scenes. "Chan is Missing" broke ground with mainstream audiences with its realistic portrayals of Chinese characters in San Francisco's Chinatown, replacing stereotypic stock Asian characters found in previous films from the western world. This volume includes an interview with Wang and an introduction and screen notes by Diane Mark.
from Chan is Missing by Wayne Wang
Jo and Steve sit at a table listening to a young Asian American woman lawyer. We cut back to their bemused looks as she rambles on in professionalese.
You see, I'm doing a paper on the legal implications of cross-cultural misunderstandings, and Mr. Chan's case is a perfect example of what I'm trying to expose here. You see, the policeman and Mr. Chan had completely different culturally-related assumptions about what kind of communications about communication each one was using. For instance, the policeman in an English-speaking mode asked a direct factual question. They're interested in the facts and that's all. Asked, "Did you stop at the stop sign?"--expected a yes or no answer. Simple yes or no answer. Mr. Chan, however, rather than giving him a yes or no answer, began to go into his past driving record, how good it was, the number of years he'd been in the States, all the people that he knew, trying to relate different events or objects or situations to what was happening then, to the action at hand. Now this is very typical, as I'm sure you know, of most Chinese speakers. Trying to relate possibly unrelated objects or seemingly unrelated objects to the matter at hand...