The Farewell

Past Event19 Jul 2019

The Farewell

No longer available

The Civic


Deft and deeply felt, with a star-making turn from Awkwafina, Lulu Wang’s widely praised drama tells the story of a Chinese American family paying their last respects to a mother and grandmother who doesn’t know she’s dying.

The Farewell begins with struggling New York artist Billi (Awkwafina, the crazy best friend in Crazy Rich Asians) learning the news that her beloved Nai Nai (grandma) is dying of cancer. In China, Nai Nai’s loyal sister withholds the diagnosis, letting Nai Nai think she has a clean bill of health. Relatives from Japan and the USA fly home under the pretence of a wedding – surrounded by her entire clan, there’s no happier occasion for Nai Nai – and while pretending to celebrate, must bear the burden of sadness so she can live her last days in blissful ignorance.

Eschewing broad stereotypes for a nuanced everydayness, Wang’s film is of course sad, but also warm, perfectly strange (the absurdity and illegality of the ruse does not go unnoticed), rich with delicious food, and naturally funny in situations that, as a normal response to death, demand it. The wonderful ensemble cast, particularly Billi’s parents - played by veterans Tzi Ma and Diana Lin - subtly agitate and support Awkwafina’s breakthrough central performance; her face and body language marvels of whole emotions fighting against quiet, dutiful restraint. 


For the full NZIFF programme visit

THE FAREWELL | Official Trailer

NZ International Film Festival 2019 :

Ticket Pricing

A Coded : Sessions starting after 5pm weekdays and all weekend sessions (unless otherwise indicated)

Ticketmaster is the official ticketing agent for all ticketed events at Auckland Live.

Earlybird (Until end of day 17 July)
Film Society/Film Industry Guilds/Nurses
Community Services Card
Senior (60+)
Children (15 and under)

Ten-Trip Pass - $155

The Ten-Trip Pass consists of a unique barcode that can be used to purchase tickets to any screening, subject to seat availability (passes are not tickets and do not guarantee admission), and excluding 3D films, Special Events and Live Cinema performances.  Passes can be purchased and redeemed for tickets in advance online, via the phone or the Aotea or Civic Box Offices.  Passes can also be redeemed on the day at all venues, subject to seat availability.

After purchasing your pass online, you will need to download your Print-at-Home ticket and use the unique barcode number to redeem your pass for tickets to individual sessions.  (The barcode is issued immediately when purchased at the Box Office or via phone).  Once all ten tickets have been redeemed, the barcode will expire.


Get Ten-Trip Pass

Concession Discounts

Students, Film Society members, Industry Guild members and Community Service Card holders are entitled to purchase one ticket per session at the discount rate. Student/Membership /CSC ID is required – please ensure you bring it with you to the venue to present to staff on request; failure to do so will result in the full price being charged for attendance. Film Society “Three Film Sampler” holders are not entitled to the concession discount.

Please note: We are unable to accept any vouchers unless marked NZIFF 2019.