The place I am From: Now and Gen options in-conversation items between generations — like a youthful girl and her grandmother — discussing a subject like magnificence rituals, funds, or marriage. We sat down with filmmaker Sean Wang and his grandmothers, Yi Yan Fuei and Chang Li Hua, the topics of Wang’s Oscar-nominated documentary quick, “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó.” Learn their heartwarming chat about friendship under.

In 2021, within the wake of elevated anti-Asian violence and the continued pandemic, filmmaker Sean Wang moved again residence to San Francisco. There, he began observing — then filming — Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó, his 94-year-old paternal grandmother and 83-year-old maternal grandmother, respectively, who occur to be inseparable buddies and roommates. As he captured the mundane moments and joys of their day by day lives, he created “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó,” an Oscar-nominated documentary quick that lately landed on Disney+.

“As a lot as this film is about my grandmothers and my relationship with them, it’s about friendship, sisterhood, and the bonds that you just keep and water in previous age.”

The Taiwanese American director — whose debut function movie, “Dìdi,” lately premiered on the 2024 Sundance Movie Pageant — basically filmed a collection of residence movies, which he became a stupendous 17-minute “private love letter” to his grandmothers. “As a lot as this film is about my grandmothers and my relationship with them, it’s about friendship, sisterhood, and the bonds that you just keep and water in previous age,” he tells POPSUGAR. “I am not 86, 96 years previous. However I believe [their friendship] is an effective north star — hopefully, the friendships I’ve now that I really feel are deeply particular in my life, those that I do know will final, that I hope could possibly be Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó in our previous age, are nonetheless as foolish and vibrant and enjoyable.”

Forward of the 2024 Oscars, Wang and his grandmothers focus on their decades-long bond, the facility of friendship, and the life classes they’ve taught each other.

On Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó’s Distinctive Friendship

Chang Li Hua (Wài Pó): Us with the ability to spend our days collectively and stay collectively can also be a type of destiny and luck. Nǎi Nai is older than me by 10 years, so I’ve at all times seen her like my very own massive sister. I’m youthful than her by 10 years, so anytime I’m able to assist her and maintain her, I’ll do my greatest to take action. We’ve got nearly all the identical hobbies. Studying the newspaper, exercising within the yard, going out for walks. Daily, we go to our orchard collectively to test and see which tree has grown fruits. Daily, we eat fruits collectively, and we take the peels of vegetables and fruit to the yard and make fertilizer.

Yi Yan Fuei (Nǎi Nai): [Wài Pó and I] have the identical angle. We each love buddies, we like to train, and we like to learn the information, so we’re in a position to be collectively harmoniously, similar to sisters. Sean is aware of too. He grew to become shut with us, and I cherish the time we spent collectively on daily basis.

Sean Wang: They’re my grandmothers. And as their form of mischievous, younger filmmaker grandson, I believe our relationship is certainly one of such pleasure, silliness, and this childlike, youthful power. They point out it within the movie that I deliver it out of them, however in addition they deliver it out of me. I believe that ends in some enjoyable collaborations and these foolish movies that we make. Loads of these had been the seeds that grew to become one half of “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó.” The silliness, the chaotic pleasure, I prefer to name it, that balances out of with the extra poignant, deeply human grounded pains of their lives.

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On What They Realized About Every Different All through Filming

Sean Wang: I believe I knew all of the broad strokes of their lives, however getting to essentially discuss to them about their childhoods and their lives earlier than they had been my grandmothers was actually enlightening. However chopping to current day — and perhaps I at all times knew this — I discovered simply how a lot of those inventive spirits they’re.

A lot of this movie was only a strategy to give them a platform that I believe no person had ever actually thought-about them for. They dance, play, and permit their silliness to take middle stage. And now that they are going to the Oscars and being enveloped on this world that is stuffed with spectacle and fancy attire, they’re actually loving it and getting to specific a muscle that they so clearly have, that nobody has ever allowed them to flex.

Yi Yan Fuei (Nǎi Nai): Sean was very approachable with us previous individuals. He did not deal with us as previous individuals in any respect. He joked with us on daily basis. He did not even act like we had been dozens of years older than him. We had been very joyful having enjoyable collectively.

Chang Li Hua (Wài Pó): I discovered that Sean was very proficient — he has a fantastic imaginative and prescient. Additionally, he was very affected person with us once we had been filming the film. He would train us easy methods to pose. He is a child who loves to show his buddies. He is in a position to hang around with previous individuals, youngsters, or buddies of the identical age. He is a younger man with a energetic persona, but in addition works very arduous.

On the Life Classes They’ve Taught Every Different

“The times we spend feeling pleasure and the times we spend feeling ache are the identical days spent, so I am going to decide on pleasure.”

Sean Wang: There is a line within the film that Nǎi Nai says that has actually caught with me. She says, “The times we spend feeling pleasure and the times we spend feeling ache are the identical days spent, so I am going to decide on pleasure.” I believe that quite simple determination is a strong one: selecting pleasure. Particularly for somebody like her who’s within the twilight years of her life, figuring out that her days are extra restricted than mine. In our dumpster fireplace of a world at instances, permitting your self to decide on pleasure and rejoice the individuals round you is a worthy determination.

Yi Yan Fuei (Nǎi Nai): This younger child can get alongside so nicely with others. He does not deal with us like previous individuals; he nonetheless shouts like us younger individuals in entrance of us on daily basis. When he is right here, we have now a really joyful life. We needs to be like him, whether or not he is younger or previous. He’s our pal.

Chang Li Hua (Wài Pó): He helped us be taught we’re not ineffective once we are previous. We will nonetheless be helpful individuals once we are previous. We will nonetheless dance, make films, and be actors. Outdated individuals shouldn’t underestimate themselves. The aged are additionally able to doing so many issues.

This interview has been translated, edited, and condensed for readability.

Yerin Kim is the options editor at POPSUGAR, the place she helps form the imaginative and prescient for particular options and packages throughout the community. A graduate of Syracuse College’s Newhouse College, she has over 5 years of expertise within the popular culture and ladies’s life-style areas. She’s keen about spreading cultural sensitivity via the lenses of life-style, leisure, and magnificence.