Ann Hui (Boat People
) is often cited as one of the most important Hong Kong directors of her generation and one of east Asia's most important female directors, period. This 2011 drama—about a single man in his 50s (Andy Lau) who takes filial responsibility for his family's aging maid (Deannie Ip) after she suffers a stroke—is the sort of humanist filmmaking, like Satyajit Ray's, that seems to take shape all on its own; you feel not that you're being told a story but that you're sharing time with the characters. Given the subtlety of this approach and the familiarity of the premise, one might easily overlook the movie's troubling undercurrent—what it manages to suggest about how people live and die in contemporary society is hardly uplifting. In Cantonese and Mandarin with subtitles.
See our full review:
In Ann Hui's A Simple Life, grand themes grow from tiny moments
Starting to figure out the deceptively simple Hong Kong drama