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Who is Lulu Wang?

By Say Peng  /  25 Sep 2019 (Wednesday)

Lulu Wang almost quit the film industry.

She had made her debut film Posthumous in 2014 when she was in her late twenties.

It received decent reviews from the critics, but nobody was interested in her follow-up film, a personal tale about her family's decision to keep secret her grandmother's terminal cancer diagnosis.

Nobody, from financiers to producers, understood what she was trying to make and she almost quit the industry.

Part of it is that Wang, who is Chinese-American, wanted to tell the story from a Chinese-American perspective, with an Asian cast that spoke predominantly Mandarin. And such a film was thought to have no commercial potential.

Born in Beijing, six-year-old Wang and her parents immigrated to Miami, where she was raised.

Wang studied music and literature in college before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in filmmaking.

When she was editing Posthumous in Berlin, she found out that her grandmother in China had come down with terminal cancer.

Then came the big white lie - her family decided not to tell her grandmother about her illness and reported that the doctor gave her grandmother a clean bill of health.

Afterwards, Wang's family decided to bring forward a cousin’s planned wedding so that everyone can visit the elderly matriarch for one last time before she passes on.

In 2016, Wang wrote and recorded a story for National Public Radio's This American Life called What You Don't Know, about her grandmother's incident.

Wang's story struck a chord and, in no time, producers were knocking on her door, inquiring about her story.

The Farewell premiered in Sundance Film Festival, where it received rave reviews and was picked up by A24.

Most importantly, perhaps, is how The Farewell has built upon what Crazy Rich Asians has achieved and continued the trajectory of Asian-American screen representation.

The Farewell will release exclusively in cinemas from 3 October.
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