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The Farewell

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Kimberly de Berzunza
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The Farewell

I know this is actually technically an American film, and I am going to post again on a technically Asian film, but "The Farewell" is in theatres right now and I hope people will go see it.  (Click here for trailer!)

Produced by Lulu Wang and starring Awkwafina, this is the story of an extended Chinese family who reunites in China to say farewell to the grandmother who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but the family does not tell her this and she is led to believe she is fine.  One of the sons (Awkwafina's father) lives in New York, and the other lives in Japan; his son is suddenly getting married as the pretext for the reunion.  So it is an interesting look at cultural and generational differences from the 1.5 generations raised in 3 different cultures (China, Japan, and the US.)  In this film we see the differences in expectations of and from a Chinese girl raised in the US and a Chinese boy raised in Japan, in terms of marriage, relationships, work, and attitudes toward death and toward the elderly.  It also touches a bit on the aunt and uncle's raising of their one spoiled son in China, and how of course they will send him to study in the US.  I think this film is a perfect tie-in with the seminar on Gender and Generation in Asia just completed at USC, and it is entertaining and highly enjoyable, with great acting by Awkwafina and all the cast.  And the added bonus is it will be available on Amazon, I think, and is totally appropriate for student audiences, and can lead to some great discussions of ethics and cultural norms and attitudes.