The Farewell

Of all the films featuring an old woman that I have seen and written about none has coincided with my experiences as much as this film.
I saw it in my local cinema on a Saturday at 18h with only a handful of other viewers.

In my 84th years, grand-mother and great-grandmother, after years of fitting in the English way of life, raising a family and working for the National Health, this film awakened in me the feeling of being in exile.

There was no feeling of identification with the characters but rather a recognition at different levels:
I need to wait for the dvd release before I can study the film in detail but I will pick up the main themes that struck me.

1- the tradition of the family not to inform a sick member of the seriousness of their illness. In my experience, this was the rule and in consultations doctors always managed to send the patient out of the room to talk to the relative.

2- the sister looking after her older sister. My aunt came all the way from Argentina to look after her older brother (my father ) who suffered from Alzheimer.

3- the cultural and language gulf between the families and second generation who emigrated from China to the USA or Japan. In my case the emigration was from Lebanon to France, England, New Zealand and the USA.

This film explores with depth and humour, exile, ageing, family, customs and the important grandmother/grandaughter relationship.

It has a wonderful detached way of examining the state of dissemination of the family without sentimentality.

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing, death, family, outsiders, three generations of women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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