The Farewell | SIFF 2019 Closing Night Gala
Awkwafina, the flamboyant breakout star of Crazy Rich Asians, plays a woman traveling back home to China to assist in an elaborate ruse to keep a truth from her terminally ill grandmother.
"[Awkwafina] ... transforms into a complex, authentic embodiment of Chinese-American identity as the movie gives her room to explore."—IndieWire
CLOSING NIGHT GALA
Give the month-long Festival a proper send-off by attending the Closing Night Gala at SIFF Cinema Egyptian. Following the film, enjoy tasty hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and cocktails at MOHAI.
FILM: SIFF Cinema Egyptian
PARTY: MOHAI (21+)
Film + Party:
Includes admission to the film, entry to the Closing Night party at MOHAI, and two drink tickets.
- Non-Members: $75
- Members: $65
Includes entry to the Closing Night party at MOHAI and two drink tickets.
- Non-Members: $25
- Members: $20
When a Chinese family discovers that their matriarch has inoperable lung cancer, they decide to keep her diagnosis a secret from her and instead orchestrate an impromptu wedding that allows the whole family to return home, under the guise of celebration, to say goodbye. In her debut lead performance, comedian/musician Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) stars as Billi, a writer living in New York City who is told to stay back because her emotions will reveal the secret. Disobeying her family's orders, Billi travels to China to see her grandmother (charmingly played by Shuzhen Zhou) one last time, simultaneously reflecting on the changes both she and her old Chinese haunts have endured. Chinese law doesn't require doctors to disclose diagnoses to patients, but after living the majority of her life in the United States, Billi struggles to understand how this secret could ethically or emotionally be the right way to say farewell to her grandmother. Writer/director Lulu Wang creates a heartfelt tale, based on her own stranger-than-fiction family story, that is in each moment joyous, tragic, and comedic, and explores how our cultural heritage evolves when we move away.
Lulu Wang is a Los Angeles-based classical pianist turned filmmaker who was born in Beijing, raised in Miami, and educated in Boston, earning her degree in literature and music from Boston College in 2005. Her work, including her first feature film Posthumous (2014) focuses on the immigrant experience, which involves straddling traditions rooted in two cultures. Variety listed Wang as one of the Ten Directors to Watch in 2019.
Sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka
- Director: Lulu Wang
- Principal Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhou Shuzhen, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo
- Premiere Status: Seattle
- Country: USA, China
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 98 minutes
- Producer: Daniele Melia, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng, Lulu Wang, Anita Gou
- Screenplay: Lulu Wang
- Cinematographers: Anna Franquesa Solano
- Editors: Michael Taylor, Matthew Friedman
- Music: Alex Weston
- Website: http://www.bigbeach.com
- Filmography: Posthumous (2014)
- Language: English, Mandarin
- US Distributor: A24