On the day of The Farewell’s Canadian premiere, Cold Tea Collective’s Natasha Jung sat down with Renee Filippone of CBC Radio One’s Early Edition show to chat about the movie and what it means to Asian Canadians.
Listen to the full interview here.
Having watched the U.S. premiere already, Jung avoided spoilers — of course — but praised writer and director Lulu Wang’s ability to base the film on her real life experience.
“Telling our own personal stories can be challenging in itself, but she tells the story beautifully,” Jung said.
Same Same, but Different
With the success of Crazy Rich Asians and Always Be My Maybe, CBC asked how The Farewell differs.
“The film is 80% in Mandarin, and was filmed where Wang’s grandmother grew up, so you’ll get to see everyday life in China when it’s not Crazy Rich Asians,” she said.
While it may be common for the Asian community to watch subtitled films, the general public may not be as used to it.
“In Asian culture, a lot of how you communicate with your family is through non-verbal communication. You get to see the actors communicate using indirect dialogue and that’s what makes the film so powerful.”
Between East and West
Filippone quoted a line from the trailer: “You think one’s life belongs to one self, but that’s the difference between the East and the West. In the East, a person’s life belongs to the whole family”. The significance of this line isn’t lost on Jung.
“In Western society, we’re encouraged to focus on the individual,” she said. “In Eastern culture, you think as a family unit, a collective, a collective society. The film highlights that push and pull, but also where they can meet in the middle.”
When asked about her brief encounter with Awkwafina — the star of The Farewell — at a special screening in Los Angeles earlier this year, Jung described the actor as very low key. Awkwafina even introduced herself as “Nora” — which Cold Tea Collective’s co-founder jokingly adds that it means they are now B.F.F.s.
Watch The Farewell in Select Theatres Now
The Farewell is now showing in select theatres in the U.S. and Canada. The more views there are for the film mean more opportunities for a wider release. The film is produced by A24, the same company which produced the Oscar Award-Winning Best Feature Film, Moonlight.
Read our special feature about The Farewell, including personal stories from the set with Lulu Wang, Awkwafina, and Tzi Ma.
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