#GoldOpen Partners With AARP for 'The Farewell'

Elyse Cosgrove
From left: Yao King, Daphne Kwok, Diana Lin, Awkwafina, Lulu Wang and Tzi Ma

The organization has joined companies and groups like UTA, CAA's multicultural committee and the 'Crazy Rich Asians' cast in supporting Lulu Wang's intergenerational family dramedy.

Two interest groups — the Asian American Pacific Islander-focused Gold House and the over-50 nonprofit AARP — have partnered to support a film centered at the nexus of their communities: Lulu Wang's intergenerational Chinese-American family dramedy The Farewell.

The movie, which generated buzz at the Sundance Film Festival and was released Friday by A24 in Los Angeles and New York, is based on a real-life experience in Wang's family, a story that she first documented in a memorable 2016 episode of This American Life. Awkwafina stars as a New York woman who is horrified when her family decides to keep her beloved Chinese grandmother in the dark about her own terminal illness diagnosis. In order to say their goodbyes, the clan reunites in China under the pretense of a wedding.

"The intergenerational storyline is powerful. In the AAPI community, the entire family is at the core of life decisions," said Daphne Kwok, AARP vp multicultural leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander audience strategy. "The film's focus on caregiving and end-of-life conversations — or non-conversations — is exactly what we're looking for as we identify opportunities to spark discussions among family members around caregiving. The differing perspectives of Chinese and Chinese-American cultural values is an interesting conflict brought up in the film, and this film is of interest to AARP as we help people navigate the changing perspectives and values of being a 1.5, second, third, fourth, fifth-generation American."

AARP joined Gold House in hosting The Farewell's New York #GoldOpen premiere on Tuesday, the first time that the community movement held these VIP events simultaneously in three cities — New York, L.A. and San Francisco (joining Gold House as hosts in the other two cities were CAA and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, and Facebook, respectively). Wang, Awkwafina and co-stars Tzi Ma and Diana Lin, along with celebrities including designers Phillip Lim and Prabal Gurung, attended the screening, where AARP provided audience members with a caregiving guidebook customized for the AAPI community — as well as Farewell­-branded packets of tissues. The New York premiere was organized by former Deutsche Bank managing director Yao King, who brought to the afterparty the first flower that the New York Botanical Garden has ever named after a public figure, the Vanda Awkwafina hybrid orchid.

As the film opens in two cities this weekend, AARP also has joined a host of companies, groups and individuals in sponsoring showtimes, including UTA, CAA's multicultural committee, U.S. Bank, the Asian Google Network, Asian Pacific Islanders at Facebook, Buzzfeed's A Family, Snapasia and Space@Spotify, as well as Olympic medalists Alex and Maia Shibutani, Boba Guys co-founder Andrew Chau, Seoul Searching producer Andrea Chung, restaurateurs Derek and Hannah An, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Girls Generation member turned soloist Tiffany Young and The Joy Luck Club producer Janet Yang. In a gesture of solidarity as beneficiaries of a previous #GoldOpen, the cast of Crazy Rich Asians also is part of The Farewell's #GoldOpen roster.