Monday Night Film Series: The Farewell

Category: movies 25
Lulu Wang
USA, 2019
English, Mandarin w/ English subtitles
98 minutes
Principal Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin

Lulu Wang ’s Sundance hit The Farewell is an intergenerational family drama that is at once celebratory, heart-wrenching, and life-affirming.

Based on true events, the film follows a young Chinese American woman named Billi (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians) as she travels back to China to visit her dying grandmother. Billi’s family has decided to spare their beloved matriarch the news of her terminal diagnosis so as not to darken what time she has left. In order for everyone to have a chance to say goodbye without tipping her off that the end is near, they orchestrate an elaborate excuse to reunite in the form of a fake wedding. Though cultures clash and family conflict ensues, the story is told with universally relatable warmth and charm.

Awkwafina is dazzling as the quick-witted and empathetic Billi, supported by a remarkable cast that includes the charming Tzi Ma (Meditation Park) as her father and Diana Lin (Australia Day) as her mother.

Little by little, we realize that this story is not only about Billi saying goodbye to her grandmother, but also about her reconnecting with a country and extended family that she left behind at a young age. The Farewell is truly remarkable. It will make you laugh out loud, cry both sad and happy tears, and contemplate the meaning of home.

The Farewell | Monday Night Film Series | Tilley Hall, Room 102, UNB Campus | Sept. 16, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.

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