The Farewell

2019 China

Screening: 24th April 2023, 100 minutes

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Subtitles

Chinese American Billi returns to China when she learns that her grandmother has terminal cancer. Billi struggles with the decision by the family not to tell her grandmother that she is dying, contrasting eastern and western values. Uplifting, heart-breaking and comical in equal measures.

Feedback from our members:

Score Feedback
5
Really enjoyed this film and the way it portrayed the different cultures regarding death. It was totally spoilt bescause of the awful sound track. It seemed to be in the foreground permanently making it almost impossible to understand what was being said In English. A most uncomfortable experience.
5
Condensed memories of our time in HK - excellent exploration of multi-culturalism & identity.
5
Pity about the sound but a comfort to me that it was not my ears taking a turn for the worse. I had seen this excellent film several years ago and enjoyed seeing it again very much. Yvonne's excellent introduction was a definite bonus.
5
A very interesting insight into the clash between Chinese & Western cultures. But who's to say one is right and one is wrong? It was clearly better for the grandmother to be able to enjoy organising & experiencing the wedding. In fact the whole family seemed to enjoy it. A moving film but done with humour & sympathy.
5
A very good film, could relate to some of it, sick parents in foreign countries and visits. Also have visited China a lot so some understanding of culture. Still it was a tear jerker. Excellent choice.
5
Interesting look at rapidly changing cultures. Very good acting all round. Great pity the sound - very difficult to listen to. What a lot of food on display!
5
Lovely film - very life-affirming - not sad at all. Interiors in China looked so western - not what I expected. Actress who played grand daughter excellent.
5
China has really gone through a metamorphosis. We think of Chinese in Mao suits and bicycles but capitalism reigns. Mao would turn in his grave!
5
Excellent, really interesting. (But the sound was awful!)
5
Interesting film about affluent citizens of China. Contrast with the US.
5
Moving and engrossing - but APPALLING SOUND QUALITY. Painfully booming.
5
I really enjoyed the film and the insight into another culture.
5
SOUND POOR
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Enjoyed the film very much!
5
A great insight into two cultures.
5
Poignant. Thoroughly enjoyable perspective. Great to have a happy ending!
5
Very interesting film.
5
And which way of life is better?
4
Clever!
4
Beautiful film, slightly marred by poor sound.
4
Fascinating seeing the different cultures.
4
Loved the concept but would have liked more to happen. Also difficult to see subtitles white on white for a lot of the film.
4
Interesting look at another culture.
4
Clever story. Interesting acting.
4
The Farewell - emotional, moving. A great insight into a very different culture.
4
Great film. Terrible sound system.
4
I couldn't hear any of the dialogue. From what I could understand, courtesy of subtitles, I think it was probably a very poignant film.
4
Thank you Yvonne for an informative and enthusiastic introduction.
4
Really great film which makes you think about the positives of different cultures rather than just on portrayal of the west being good. Loved the cinematography. Really beautiful & shows the power of love & the mind.
4
A sad gentle film. To start with I had no doubt that they should have told her. By the end I wasn't so sure. Terrible sound quality.
4
Lovely gentle pace.
4
Loved the cultural insights, though the spoken English was near impossible to hear. A very light touch production, cleverly constructed to avoid sentimentality.
4
I enjoyed the film but thought there would be a more significant cultural difference. The sound system needs adjustment, too fuzzy and at times too loud. Thank you team for choosing such an interesting selection of films.
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4
Pretty good. But it could have skipped the karaoke...
4
Interesting film but sound quality really impacted on enjoyment.
4
Brilliant film - just a shame sound was so distorted!
4
Terrible sound. Would have been a great film.
4
Great film but sound quality especially at the beginning was not good. A little too loud & distorted.
4
The message was well crafted & presented. Cultural differences indeed. Hard work!
4
Good.
4
Couldn't hear the words - very booming. Words too much against white background.
4
20 mins shorter would be perfect.
4
Fascinating insight into Chinese culture and how they handle the difficult subject of death. I enjoyed it. Thanks!
4
Such a different film. Great bitter-sweet plot and loved the ending.
4
Good film but sound APPALLING.
4
Funny, sad, poignant - good film overall.
4
Very funny & also very moving.
4
Thought provoking about life issues and cultural differences.
4
Really enjoyed film but marred by poor sound quality.
4
Eye opening film! Moving and funny.
4
This was a poignant insight into another culture, and their norms and values around family, collectivism and grief. A great intro from Yvonne which really set the context. I was especially moved by the scene which explained that not telling Nai Nai of her prognosis was not a disempowering act but one borne out of love of a family collectively carrying that pain for her. The only downside I found was the sound in the unsubtitled english spoken scenes was very difficult to hear.
3
Shame about the awful sound.
3
Sound quality marred the overall experience. Film itself interesting but not as gripping as most.
3
The poor sound quality ruined what might have been a good film. I need sub-titles for the English, please.
3
Sound track awful. I enjoyed the cultural stuff about Chinese treatment of death vs. American. But it kind of lost the plot. Cold in the hall made an unpleasant evening out on the whole.
3
Spoilt because English not clear and too loud.
3
Good but too slow.
3
Proof that it pays to have a good mental attitude! Speaker was excellent!
3
Superb slice of another culture. Pity the sound track was so harsh.
3
Didn't live up to the hype/expectation. Sound muffled!
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2
Disappointed that the sound spoilt the enjoyment!
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Films are screened at The Harlington in Fleet every fortnight on Mondays. Everyone is welcome.

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