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Tao Jie – Ein einfaches Leben

Ah Tao worked for Roger’s family for over 60 years and four generations, raising both him and his siblings. When she has a stroke and has to be put into long-term care, the old routines change for everybody.


For over 60 years and four generations Ah Tao worked as a maid for the family of film producer Roger Lee, raising Lee and his siblings. In her old age she now looks after Lee’s Hong Kong apartment and cooks for him when he is in town from the USA. This routine ends when she suffers a stroke and insists on being put in an assisted care facility. At first glance the conditions in her new home are depressing. Her “single-room” consists of a partitioned area with only a curtain separating her from the complaints and snores of the other residents. Eventually she settles in, makes friends, and Roger comes to visit her on a regular basis. During his visits, he assumes the role of her godson so that he doesn’t out her as his former servant. Indeed, this new designation better describes their emotional connection. Much like a documentary the camera casually observes Ah Tao’s life – the increasingly burdensome daily routines, the small pleasures she bestows on others, the efforts to maintain dignity, and the unspoken affection between Ah Tao and Roger. Director Ann Hui, Hong Kong’s queen of Nouvelle Vague, brings together the crème de la crème of Hong Kong film for her deeply poignant film: the superstars Deanie Yip (who won the Coppa Volpi in Venice for her role as Ah Tao) and Andy Lau play the leads and are supported by other Hong Kong cinema veterans Tsui Hark and Sammo Hung.

Hendrike Bake


Hongkong 2011, 117 min
Genre: empty
Director: Ann Hui
Author: Susan Chan, Roger Lee
DOP: Yu Lik-wai
Montage: Kong Chi-leung, Manda Wai, M: Law Wing-fai
Distributor: Fugu Films
Cast: Andy Lau, Deanie Yip, Qin Hailu, Wang Fuli, Paul Chiang, Leung Tin, Wendy Yu
Release: 24.04.2014



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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