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Awkwafina grapples with death and culture in trailer for Sundance breakout The Farewell

Photo: A24

Awkwafina, the Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8 star with a Comedy Central series in the hopper, has been drawing raves for her turn in Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, one of the breakout films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Now, the Chinese drama has released a trailer ahead of its July 12 release date.

Per a synopsis, Awkwafina’s Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi “reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad.”


For Billi, however, who was raised with Western, not Eastern, values, this feels cruel. “You think one’s life belongs to oneself,” she’s told. “But that’s the difference between the East and the West. In the East, a person’s life is part of the whole.” That doesn’t make Billi rest any easier, however.

Watch the trailer below.

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Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.