Epic tale of Mulan returns to cinemas

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This Still from new movie "Mulan" features Zhaowei. [Xinhua File Photo]

The classic story of the Chinese heroine Mulan is coming to the big screen again. Disney's animation made the girl who goes in disguise to take her ailing father's place in the army a household name in the 1990s. But this time she's a very real Chinese girl, played by actress Zhao Wei.

This big screen adaptation of Mulan is directed by Jingle Ma. At a news conference for the film he introduced the cast members, including Zhao and actor Chen Kun.

The story takes place in the Northern Wei Dynasty about 15 hundred years ago. Mulan is the only child of an honored family. As nomads invade China, she joins the army in place of her weakened father. Disguised as a man, she becomes a heroine who risks everything to save her country.

The story of Mulan has been retold countless times. But Director Jingle Ma says this time he wanted to make it different -- revealing the profound nature of traditional Chinese culture. He wanted Mulan to be the representative of women from the east.

The picture features an all-star cast. Along with Zhao Wei and Chen Kun are mainland actor Hu Jun, Hong Kong's Jaycee Chan, and Russian singer Vitas.

Mulan is set to defend her country again in cinema's across China on Friday.

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