Director Lulu Wang on making ‘The Farewell’

Hosted by

Lulu Wang’s new movie ‘The Farewell,’ is, as advertised on the screen before the story even begins, “Based on an actual lie.”

That lie is about what happened in real life when Wang’s Chinese grandmother was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer and given only a few months to live.

In ‘The Farewell,’ Awkwafina plays Billi, a version of Wang, who’s shocked to learn her parents--and other extended family in China--have no intention of telling her grandmother about the bleak diagnosis.

The family heads to China using a hastily planned wedding for Billi’s cousin as a reason for the visit. For the grandmother, Nai Nai, it will be a celebration, but for everyone else, it will be a chance to say goodbye.

Wang tells us about the circuitous journey to making ‘The Farewell,’ which went from which went from public radio piece to Sundance success to indie hit of the summer.

Lulu Wang, writer and director of 'The Farewell.' Photo credit: Elias Roman




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker