A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.
“The Farewell” is a 2019 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Lulu Wang. The film follows a Chinese-American family who reunite in China to say goodbye to their grandmother, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but they decide not to tell her the truth about her diagnosis. The film stars Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, and Jiang Yongbo.
“The Farewell” was based on Wang’s own experiences with her grandmother’s illness and was inspired by an episode of the radio program “This American Life”. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019 and received critical acclaim for its heartfelt storytelling, strong performances, and cultural authenticity. Awkwafina’s performance in particular was praised and won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
The film explores themes of cultural identity, family relationships, and the ethics of lying to protect loved ones. It has been hailed as a poignant and humorous exploration of the immigrant experience and the complexities of familial relationships.