The Farewell Review: Chinese Family Traditions Protect Parents

“The Farewell” is a family drama film directed by Lulu Wang and starring Awkwafina. The film is adapted from the true story of the director who embraced ethnic Chinese, which has a special tradition when dealing with parents diagnosed with a deadly disease.

Awkwafina plays Billi, a woman from a Chinese family who moved to America when she was only 6 years old. Despite the great distance, Billi remained close to his grandmother who still lived in China.

Until one day Billi received news that his grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer and did not have much time left. In Chinese family tradition, the family must hide this fact from parents who are suffering from cancer. They believe that it is not a disease that kills them, but fear of knowing the truth. Billi, who had been living in the West for too long, felt an inner contradiction with the eastern tradition.

Because it is based on the true story of the director and the traditions that really exist, “The Farewell” has an authentic and informative story. For those of us who are not ethnic Chinese, we will get new knowledge about Chinese family traditions that turn out to be ‘sacred’ and have important meaning for them. This kind of tradition will remind us of some unwritten rules of us who still live in eastern culture. For example, one of the Javanese beliefs where a younger brother is better not to marry before his brother. There are many more similar traditions in our culture that are more or less like that.

This topic is presented in a neat and elegant storyline. Most dialogue has meanings and messages that we cannot miss. Starting from a warm interaction, as well as intense conflicting dialogue. Not always making us touched and sad, the touch of comedy is embedded very smoothly and naturally. Making the emotional rhythm in this film that you can watch on feels more varied and not boring.

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