#513 - Lulu Wang on Expats

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This week we’re excited to present a conversation with director Lulu Wang, who’s new Prime Video series Expats is now streaming.

Lulu Wang casts her penetrating gaze on the intersection of race and class in Hong Kong’s milieu of expats, and the migrant domestic workers employed by them, in this vivid adaptation of Janice Y. K. Lee’s widely acclaimed novel, The Expatriates (1998). Across six episodes, Expats shuttles back and forth between the prelude and aftermath of a tragedy that has dramatically reshaped the lives of three women—Margaret (Nicole Kidman), a mother left shattered as she navigates her way through an inconceivable loss; her neighbor Hilary (Sarayu Blue), herself struggling to regain control of her marriage in the face of infidelity; and the twentysomething, free-spirited Mercy (Ji-young Yoo), who finds herself caught in the center of Margaret and Hilary’s anguish. But for the limited series’ feature-length fifth episode, the three women recede into the background with Wang shifting her focus in an entirely different direction, and transforming this rich tapestry of stories into something altogether more complex. In this penultimate episode, “Central,” Margaret and Hilary’s Filipina caretakers, Essie (Ruby Ruiz) and Puri (Amelyn Pardenilla), come to the fore as we follow them on their day off—socializing, corresponding with family abroad, and carving out time to pursue their own dreams, but who nevertheless remain entangled in their employers’ quandaries, and whose own future hangs in the balance of their every decision.

This conversation was moderated by FLC Assistant Programmer Madeline Whittle.

#513 - Lulu Wang on Expats

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Film at Lincoln Center Podcast
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