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Archive - 11th Five Flavours Film Festival

A Simple Life

Tao jie
Hong Kong 2011, 118’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Ann Hui
screenplay: Susan Chan, Roger Lee
cinematography: Nelson Yu Lik-wai
editing: Kwong Chi-leung, Manda Wai
music: Law Wing-fai
cast: Andy Lau, Deannie Yip, Dennis Chan, Sammo Hung Kam-bo
producer: Ann Hui, Chan Pui-wah, Roger Lee
production: Bona International Film Group, Focus Films, Sil-Metropole Organisation
language: Cantonese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Wenecja IFF 2011 – najlepsza aktorka, Nagroda Równych Szans, Nagroda Gianni Astrei, Nagroda Nazareno Taddei, Nagroda SIGNIS, Asian Film Awards 2012 – najlepsza aktorka, nagroda publiczności dla najlepszego aktora, Durban IFF 2012 – najlepsza aktorka, FF Paris Cinema 2012 – nagroda publiczności, nagroda jury

Film description

One of Ann Hui's most renown and award-winning films is a seemingly simple portrait of the relationship between a film producer, Roger (Andy Lau), and his elderly housekeeper, Ah Tao (Deanie Ip). When the woman suffers a stoke and has to stop working, she asks Roger to put her in a nursing home. The situation becomes a starting point for painting a picture of social relations, in which traditional bonds and arrangements do not avert the feeling of alienation and the need to look for close ties outside the biological family.

The minimalist color scheme plays very well with Ann Hui's reluctance to use sentimental or moralizing tone. The director talks about old age through the perspective of the everyday strife, with a deeply humanist message, proving that there is a space for traditional values even in a highly atomized society.

The director based "A Simple Life" on real events from the life of producer Roger Lee and his housekeeper. The private story quickly turned into a screenplay, and Roger Lee – on of the most renown producers in Hong Kong – helped out with the project. The film marked a great return of Deanie Ip, whose role brought her a prestigious Volpi Cup at the 68th Venice IFF.

Emilia Skiba

Ann Hui

Born in 1947 in Manchuria. Graduate of the University of Hong Kong and London Film School. Director, screenwriter, producer, actress. One of the leading filmmakers of the Hong Kong new wave. Praised for works taking up controversial social issues, especially her Vietnam Trilogy.


1979 Tajemnica / Fung gip / The Secret

1982 Boat People. Uchodźcy z Wietnamu / Tau ban no hoi / Boat People

1990 Ke tu qui hen / Song of the Exile

1995 Letni śnieg / Nu ren si shi / Summer Show

1999 Qian yan wan yu / Ordinary Heroes

2008 Tacy jesteśmy / Tin Shui Wai dik yat yu ye / The Way We Are 

2009 Noc i mgła / Tin Shui Wai dik ye yu mo / Night and Fog 

2011 Proste życie / Tao jie / A Simple Life

2014 Złoty wiek / Huang jin shi dai / The Golden Era

2017 Nadejdzie nasz czas / Ming yue ju shi you / Our Time Will Come

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