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A Simple Life

Ann Hui
Tao jie
Hong Kong 2011 / 118’

Roger (Andy Lau) is a film producer who works with Hong Kong’s biggest directors and movie stars. He comes home to his tiny apartment which Ah Tao, the domestic helper who has been with the family for some sixty years, works to keep clean. The two are from worlds apart, but live in complete symbiosis, that is until Ah Tao suffers a heart attack and becomes the one who needs assistance.

In A Simple Life, director Ann Hui shows two people in extreme situations, but focuses on the figure of the elderly woman, who does not lose touch with reality in her lapsing moments of life. Andy Lau is intriguing as Roger, a mogul who manages to be modest, withdrawn, loyal and full of empathy. Ann Hui’s film received a nomination for the Golden Lion.


Asian Film Awards 2012 – Best Actress, People’s Choice Award: Favourite Actor; Golden Horse FF 2012 – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director; Hong Kong Film Awards 2012 – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Screenplay; Venice IFF 2012 – Equal Opportunity Award, Gianni Astrei Award, Nazareno Taddei Award, Volpi Cup – Best Actress

Ann Hui

Hong Kong native Ann Hui (born in 1947, Manchuria) is the among the city’s most acclaimed directors and a representative of its New Wave. A graduate of the London Film School, she began her career at Hong Kong television and achieved international renown in the 1980s. Many of her films contravene conventional Hang Kong genre cinema, focusing instead on social issues like emigration and the struggle to survive in a foreign country (Vietnamese Trilogy) or family conflicts. She has not, however, eschewed commercial productions, directing films such as the martial arts feature The Romance of Book and Sword.

Selected filmography

1979 Fung gip / The Secret

1981 Tau ban no hoi / Boat People

1987 Shu jian en chou lu / The Romance of Book and Sword

1990 Ke tu qiu hen / Song of the Exile

1995 Nu ren si shi / Summer Snow

1999 Qian yan wan yu / Ordinary Heroes

2003 Yu guanyin / Jade Goddess of Mercy

2011 Proste życie / Tao jie / A Simple Life

Cast & Crew

director Ann Hui
screenplay Susan Chan, Roger Lee
cinematography Yu Lik-wai
editing Kong Chi-leung, Manda Wai
music Law Wing-fai
sound Tu Duu-chih
cast Andy Lau, Deanie Ip, Qin Hailu, Wang Fuli, Eman Lam
producer Ann Hui, Roger Lee, Chan Pui-wan
production Bona International Film Group, Focus Films, Sil-Metropole Organisation
sales Distribution Workshop
language Cantonese, English, Mandarin
colouration colour