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- So whatever decision you make, you're going to be able to find stories or signs to say 'I did the right thing,' because we have to believe we did the right thing in order to survive.
- I think people have this romanticism of the homeland, and that’s just not the reality for me. Every time I go back to China, I feel more American than ever, so it’s this question of, ‘Well, where is home?’ We’re always searching for it and never fully fitting in.
- It’s so much easier to tell a fish-out-of-water story when the person is blond and blue-eyed going to an Asian country, for example. But what is it like when you look the same as those people, and you’re expected to fit in? How do you put that interiority on screen?
- People are always asking me about the importance of representation and identity in relation to making The Farewell and of course those things are really important to me – thinking about my identity and exploring my identity in the west. But I would love it if men – white men – were also asked the same questions as me. They should be asked these questions so they can be more conscientious about how they’re representing people, how they’re not representing people, and aware of their own blind spots.
- In my family, and especially when I go back to China, it's always like, prepare your stomach, because it's the way that they express love.
- Sometimes America is so great because it brings all of us together, but sometimes it can be so limiting because it puts labels on things.
- Americans always talk about family love being unconditional, and I realized that I didn't feel that way.
- We all have different aspects of ourselves, and who we are to different people in our lives, at different stages of our lives.
- There have been moments where I laughed at my own family's culture, though it's hard to separate out whether something funny is cultural, or just my grandma specifically.
- There's so little representation of people who look like me behind the camera that it makes you want to say yes to any opportunity out of desperation. It puts you in a situation where you can't make your best work. Diversity for cheap.
- I can't speak for everybody, and I don't want to say it for an entire culture, but for me, coming from an immigrant family, it's very difficult to go find your voice, which requires a lot of failure.
- The questions I want to ask will revolve around humans, connection, relationships, family, and stories - what are the stories we tell ourselves and each other?