The Farewell is a comedy-drama that opens the heart and pulls us into thinking about family. It shows us the misperceptions people hold about death and whether our lies or pretenses can be justified if they are expressed with a good intention.
The family dynamic surrounds a Chinese family whose cultural belief system is based on family unity. There’s a long tradition in China of withholding medical diagnoses from elders if they have a terminal illness. Who’s to say whether it is better to tell or not tell, for each decision has its own particular consequences.
Because American values tend to focus more on individualism and emotional transparency, these cultural contrasts create some humorous circumstances that reveal the absurdity people are willing to participate in just to keep their family matriarch from discovering the truth. There are also some incredibly poignant and painful scenes that have earned this film much critical acclaim.
Come laugh and cry with us as we watch this film, and stay for the discussion that follows.
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