A SIMPLE LIFE (Tao jie)
Ann Hui, Hong Kong/China, 2011
|A Simple Life/Tao Jie, DQ winner in Tallinn, 2011|
Runtime: 117 minutes
Executive Producer: Yu Dong, Andy Lau, Song Dai
Producer: Pui Wah Chan, Ann Hui, Roger Lee
Production Company:Bona Entertainment Company Limited/Focus Films Limited, Sil-Metropole Organisation Limited
Principal Cast: Andy Lau, Deanie Ip, Wang Fuli, Qin Hailu
Screenplay:Susan Chan, Roger Lee
Cinematographer: Yu Lik Wai
Editor:Kong Chi Leung, Manda Wai
Sound: Tu Duu Chih
Music: Law Wing Fai
Production Designer: Albert Poon
International Sales Agent: Distribution Workshop
Don Quijote Winner in Tallinn, 2011
Reuniting superstar Andy Lau with his godmother Deanie Ip on the big screen for the first time in twenty-three years, Ann Huiís A Simple Life is a moving story about the relationship between a young man and a family servant.
Based on a true story, the film centres on Ah Tao (Ip), an amah (servant and nanny) who has worked for the Leung family for four generations. She lives with and takes care of Roger (Lau), a film producer who is the only member of the Leung household still living in Hong Kong. Roger returns home one day and finds Ah Tao unconscious after a stroke. Convinced she has becoming a burden, Tao resigns and moves into a retirement home. But upon her arrival, she continues to be taken care of by Roger, who realizes just how important she is to him. He decides to do his best to watch after the person who has nurtured him all his life. But Ah Taoís health is fast deteriorating.
Hui has always excelled when telling stories of everyday life. In A Simple Life, she delivers a rich and heartwarming drama that not only deals with the many abandoned old people in Hong Kong, but also exquisitely captures the unique relationship between the amah and the family for which she cares. In an age when loyalty between employers and employees is fast disappearing, A Simple Life highlights a culture that has almost ceased to exist in Hong Kong: one in which a person devotes their life to serving a family, and in return is cherished as much as any other relative.
Delivering what may be the best performances of their careers, Lau and Ip display perfect chemistry and restraint as two people who have known each other all their lives. Affecting but never sentimental, A Simple Life is undoubtedly one of Huiís best films to date.
Ann Hui was born in Anshan, China, and moved to Hong Kong as a child. She studied at the University of Hong Kong and the London Film School, and worked as an assistant director before directing a series of shorts and television programmes. One of Hong Kongís most prominent and innovative filmmakers, her more recent films are Visible Secret (01), July Rhapsody (02), Goddess of Mercy (03), The Postmodern Life of My Aunt (06), The Way WeAre (08), Night and Fog (09), All About Love (10) and ASimple Life (11).