The Farewell

Billi (Awkwafina) has lived in the United States with her parents for years and is practicing as a budding writer. When Billi’s dream of a Guggenheim scholarship bursts, her parents (Tzi Ma and Diana Lin) sprinkled even more salt into the wound. Her grandmother, known by everyone as Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The doctors only give her a few months to live.
Instead of telling her grandmother straight away, the disease is concealed, true to Chinese belief. “If you have cancer, you die.” Her joy in life should not be taken away, the doctors are bribed, the family lives with a lie. In order to say goodbye to the grandmother without her knowledge, a large wedding is moved from Japan to the Chinese home in Changchun.
Billi is supposed to stay at home for the time being, for fear that she’ll blab. But she travels a short time later. On site, she first tries to maintain the lie and soon gets a remorse. As she travels to her cultural home, she is confronted with the differences between Eastern and Western civilizations.
The Chinese-American drama by Lulu Wang (“Posthumous”) is based on the experience of the director. For the first time she spoke about family history in an episode for “This American Life”, after which the idea for the screenplay was written down.
The world premiere for “The Farewell” took place at the Sundance Film Festival 2019, the German theatrical release is on December 19, 2019. The main actress Awkwafina (“Ocean’s 8”) was praised by the critics who in “The Farewell” have a knack for dramatic materials proves.

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