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Art Is Not Therapy

I have recently found myself pursued across the digital sphere by advertisements and acclaim for two new Hollywood films, Turning Red and Everything Everywhere All at Once. These films differ in many respects—the first is a Pixar animation for children, while the second offers a live-action, multiverse-spanning twist on the superhero film—but both revolve around the relationship between a female Chinese immigrant and her daughter. Algorithms have determined that, because I am a Chinese-American millennial who grew up with parental expectations of high achievement, and because I have recently become a mother, these movies were made for me—or at least for my algorithmic shadow self, a purely demographic entity. (Like Turning Red’s protagonist, I was a Tamagotchi-playing tween girl when the Twin Towers fell.)

And yet, much of the praise lavished on these films carried a puzzling assumption—that as an Asian-American woman, daughter, and mother, I would find them not just

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