Director Lulu Wang on “The Farewell”
When director Lulu Wang’s beloved grandma “Nai Nai” was diagnosed with stage four cancer, her extended family decided not to tell Nai Nai anything. Instead, they arranged a big wedding banquet back in China, hoping relatives and friends would get to see grandma for the last time. As a Chinese-American, Lulu first disapproved of the lie but, as she spent more time with her Chinese family, she began to appreciate the cultural differences. This story now has turned into Lulu Wang’s second feature film The Farewell. In the film, Awkwafina plays Lulu’s on-screen alter ego Billi, a sensitive 30-year-old New Yorker. Billi goes back to the family’s hometown of Chang Chun and searches for answers between cultural clashes and generational divides. HFPA members Ting Ting Xu and Mirai Konish talked to Lulu Wang and asked her if she has found her own answers through this experience.