The first all-Asian major studio film came out in 1993 — that’s younger than most of my editors. It’s been about one younger-millennials’ lifetime that Asian American actors had roles that didn’t involve fake accents, kung fu, or dragon ladies, and only Gen Z’ers get to grow up with Asian American representation in media — though barely. Asian American cinema is relatively new, but the past few years have the emergence of a growing tide of AAPI filmmakers and actors telling diverse stories. Check out these AAPI films excelling in universal messages of love, duty, and how we are able (and unable) to forge our own path.

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