Director Ang Lee recently reflected on the legacy of Brokeback Mountain.

Speaking to gay glossy Out, Lee said that the film, which turned 10 this year, was a turning point for him.

“I was pretty wrecked by making Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Lee said. “My friend Jim [Schamus] introduced me to this little story by Annie Proulx, and towards the end when they talk about all they’ve got is Brokeback Mountain, that was an existential question to me. What is this Brokeback Mountain? They say, 'We don't really have a relationship, it's just Brokeback Mountain,' and I cried there. That really perplexed me. I grew up in Taiwan, so nothing is more remote to me than gay cowboys in Wyoming. At the time, I was in the flow of doing something pulpy and picked to do The Hulk, which wracked me even more. But the story just refused to leave me.”

The film, which spans 20 years, stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as star-crossed lovers in the American West.

“After The Hulk I thought about retirement. I thought I'd had enough. My father had just passed away, and I was exhausted. Brokeback Mountain nurtured me back to filmmaking and as a person. I'm not the creator of that movie – I'm just a participant. It was meant to come out, to see the world, to affect people. I think everybody involved felt that way, like we were blessed. I don't have another movie I feel that way about.”