Magazine September 9, 2019, Issue

The Farewell: A Restrained Deathbed Drama

Zhao Shuzhen and Awkwafina in The Farewell (A24)

There are two ways a moviegoer can approach the month of August: by resigning himself to the sequels and studio cast-offs that populate the last days of the summer season, or by catching up on the smaller movies missed during the blockbuster rush. I’ve chosen the second way for this review, which is why you’ll be reading about The Farewell, a part-Chinese-language movie about death and emigration and modernity that might still be hanging around in an art house near you, rather than watching me try to squeeze out 800 words by conducting a Marxist analysis of Angry Birds 2.

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This article appears as “Deathbed Deception” in the September 9, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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