THE FAREWELL – Review by Susan Granger

Written and directed by Lulu Wang, based on her own experiences, this intergenerational-bonding comic drama revolves around a Chinese-American artist, Billi (Awkwafina), living in Brooklyn, who returns to her hometown in northeastern China when she learns that her adored Nai-Nai – grandmother in Mandarin- has Stage IV lung cancer.

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THE FAREWELL – Review by Martha K Baker

The story is based, not on a true story, but on a true lie. Billi, a woman of Chinese extraction lives in America, but part of her heart remains with her grandmother, her Nai Nai, in China. When she learns that Nai Nai has been diagnosed with cancer and, further, that the family is gathering for a wedding as a ruse to say good-bye to the matriarch, she stubbornly insists on joining.

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Lulu Wang on THE FAREWELL, Immigrants and Traditional Cultures – Nell Minow interviews

Lulu Wang lets the audience know right away that her new film, The Farewell, is “based on an actual lie.” Awkwafina plays a character based on Wang herself, the daughter of Chinese immigrants to the US. The story is about what happened when Wang’s grandmother, still in China, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The practice in China is to tell family members, but not the patient. In an interview, Wang talked about the inevitable conflicts between immigrants and their American-raised children and about deciding when to lie and when she’d like to be lied to.

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Lulu Wang on THE FAREWELL, Love and Her Grandmother – Sarah Knight Adamson interviews

Lulu Wang speaks about the special bond Wang shares with her grandmother and some of the qualities that she most admires in her grandmother. “My grandmother is an incredibly strong person, she actually joined the Army at age 14 as a way to escape an arranged marriage, and that speaks a lot to who she is as a person. She’s a very willful person, and she’s the one who really holds the entire family together. We’ve always had a special relationship because I’ve always been told that I take after her,” says Wang.

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