The Farewell (2019) Film Review

When her grandmother in China is diagnosed with a terminal disease, Billi (Awkwafina) is disturbed to learn that her family plan to keep this diagnosis from her. She and her family travel to China to visit and attend a wedding, Billi struggling to keep the information from her grandmother and enjoy the time they have together.

This is a tricky one. The idea of keeping an elderly family member in the dark about their health seems so wrong. I’ve read discourse from disability advocates talking about this film as it is not uncommon for disable people to be left out of discussions about their health and treatment. Is it right for a family to make this choice for an elderly relative? While I struggled with the concept of the film, there was a lot I thought worked well. A young person coming to terms with aspects of their family, in particular their parents; to have their understanding of who these people are challenged is a fascinating concept, and an experience that most people have at some point in their life.

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