Director Lulu Wang discusses the film "The Farewell"

Dec 11, 2019

A Q&A with director Lulu Wang is moderated by Roxane Gay. Based on true events that unfolded after Wang's grandmother Nai Nai was diagnosed with cancer, her second feature film is a rare convergence of intimate storytelling, accomplished filmmaking, and undeniable sincerity. Upon learning of Nai Nai's near-fatal diagnosis, following with Chinese tradition, the family decides it is best to keep the news from her. After spending the majority of her life in the United States, Billi (a piercing performance by Awkwafina) is frustrated by this choice to withhold information. Her anxiety builds as her family returns to China for a "fake" wedding to gather the family once more before Nai Nai's death. Equally humorous and heartfelt, The Farewell is a testament to the strength of family across generations, countries, and ideologies. The conversation was part of MoMA Contenders, The Museum of Modern Art’s renowned series of influential, innovative films from the past 12 months. Whether bound for awards glory or cult classic status, each of these films is a contender for lasting historical significance.