Sunday, August 11, 2019

In Theaters Now: The Farewell

The Farewell (2019)
This film doesn’t have any clergy, and it doesn’t have a church. So what is The Farewell doing here at Movie Churches? 

Someone tells a story about a church in the film, and in this case, that's enough.

Writer/director Lulu Wang created a film “based on an actual lie.” It tells the story of an extended family separated by the countries where they choose to live. Awkwafina plays Billi, whose parents left China and brought her to New York City when she was six. Her paternal grandmother -- still in China -- is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the family decides to keep the information from her. But the family finds another way to gather to say goodbye -- Billi's cousin, who lives in Japan, will marry his girlfriend in China. All the family can gather at the wedding banquet and other festivities surrounding the wedding.

As the family gathers around Grandma’s dining table, Billi’s father, Haiyan (Tzi Ma) talks about what he appreciates about America. Not long after they immigrated, he says, they visited an American church. Billi wandered toward the piano, but her father shooed her away. The pastor of the church asked why. Haiyan explained that since they moved to America, Billi hadn’t played the piano as she had in China. In the U.S., they couldn’t afford such an instrument. The pastor turned and left. She returned shortly and gave Haiyan a key to the church. “Please, let her come in whenever she wants to play.”

That’s all we know about the church, but we were reminded of a real-life church we visited in Hawaii. Their membership class consisted of a barbeque for people interested in joining. During the barbecue, church leaders discussed their doctrine and opportunities for people to serve in the church. At the end of the barbeque, anyone who wanted to join the church was given a key to the building.

If key gifting is the only thing we have to go on, we’re giving the church mentioned in The Farewell Four Steeples.

No comments:

Post a Comment