30 Days of Female Characters: Day One - Favorite Female Lead

Hua Mulan from the real Chinese live-action film, which is also called Hua Mulan.

This is no Disney fairy tale with a happily every after ending. Instead, it's a real story about a flawed lead character learning to find her way as a leader. You'll note that I said flawed lead character, not female character. That's because, after the opening scenes, Mulan's sex is not the central conflict of the story. Neither is the understated romantic tension between her and her commanding officer. Instead, this film is about self-discipline and self-sacrifice, and learning to surrender one's individual desires to the needs of the whole. It's not a happy film, especially by American standards, but I loved the way Mulan came off as a real person, and her successes and failures have nothing to do with whether she's a man or a woman.
Sadly, it is a bit elusive. I think it's available in the UK, but it was never released in the US because apparently they are trying to make an American live-action version with Zhang Ziyi. I downloaded it from a Chinese movie website about a year ago, but the site is no longer operational :(
Is this the 2009 version? Because if it is then I can borrow it from demonoid and upload it for the betterment of my flist.
Excellent! I will have to download that too because the version I have required two separate programs to integrate the subtitles.
Someone had told me this was supposed to be really good. I love the story of Mulan; it's one of the best ever.

Just to let you know, I'm . . . kind of going to stalk your journal so that if you upload it I can get it. Thank you!
I'm going to go to TV for this, strangely, but I think my favorite female "Lead" is Catherine Willows from CSI. She's a hugely, deeply flawed character but the flaws are a matter of who she is and how she was raised and what she believes rather than just because she's a woman. CSI has a lot of problematic issues, but the treatment of Catherine was never a problem for me in the seasons I watched -- she fought for what she wanted, she focused on her job AND managed to be a generally successful single mother (though she and her daughter had their issues as well, especially after her daughter's father was killed and her daughter started acting out). I used to say that I watched CSI for Grissom, but it was most often the Grissom & Catherine dynamic that appealed to me because she wasn't afraid to call him on his shit.

Also, Olivia Dunham of Fringe right now is pleasing me, but the whole gender dynamic of Fringe is intriguing and I may have more to say about her in a different context.
I have never watched either show, although the things I keep hearing about Olivia Dunham make me want to check out Fringe.
I really wouldn't recommend CSI on the whole: too much "sexy dead girl".

Fringe, though...you'd probably like Fringe. And lately Liv's been through a lot, and she's kind of falling apart, only she's also holding it together.
Yes! I downloaded it from a Chinese movie website that's now defunct, but I'm sure it's going to be around somewhere else...
I will investigate this the minute I get home ffffffs. It sounds epic.
As soon as I saw your name beside this subject line, I knew this would be your answer.

I do need to get to know the real Hua Mulan.
Really? I figured the obvious answer was Number One, but I wanted to follow boosette's example and pick a female who was really the lead of her own story. I'm sure you would absolutely love the film if you are able to track it down. I downloaded it from a Chinese movie website that is sadly now defunct, but I'm sure there must be a way to pirate it from another source.
I remember what you've said about her in various discussions, starting with "Like A Waving Flag". If we asked your favorite Trek character I'd lay odds on Number One. :)
This sounds like a really interesting film—I hope I can track it down.
It's a beautiful film! I downloaded it from a Chinese website that is no longer operational, but I'm sure it's somewhere else on the internet.
I can't wait to see this, and I've been watching for it on Netflix!

I've also been eying this meme; maybe I'll do it, too!
Sadly, the film is probably never going to be on Netflix because it's not getting released in the US. Happily, boosette is uploading a copy for us soon!

And yes, you should do the meme!
Oooh, sounds even more awesome than the Disney version. Discipline and self-sacrifice and a female lead. \o/ \o/ \o/ I need to track this down. Thank you so much for sharing it again and reminding me that I'd wanted to look for it. :D