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‘The Farewell’ Captures the Chinese-American Experience in a Way I Never Thought I’d See on Screen

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The Farewell.

Every time a friend tells me they’re seeing their grandma for Christmas or having their uncle over for dinner, I feel a small pang. As a second-generation immigrant—I was born in the United States to Chinese immigrant parents—I experience so many cultural joys and so much pain, often all at once. I love that I have this intrinsic knowledge of the Chinese food that my parents make, the language that they speak, and the culture they’ve imparted to me. But one of the biggest heartaches of my life is that my extended family lives on the other side of the world. Time, money, and language barriers make them largely inaccessible to me.

Months before The Farewell even came out, I knew it would be an important movie to me. It’s an American film, in which director Lulu Wang tells a story based on her own life, about a Chinese-American woman named Billi whose paternal grandma—her nai nai—is diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. In keeping with Chinese culture, Billi’s family decides not to tell her grandmother about her diagnosis and instead plans a wedding for her cousin as an excuse for the family, who mostly live in other countries, to return and see her. (This piece contains a few spoilers for the film.)

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !