After suffering a stroke, an altruistic maid announces that she wants to quit her job and move into an old people's home.
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 become 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 Tao’s health is fast deteriorating. Affecting but never sentimental, ‘A Simple Life’ is undoubtedly one of Hui’s best films to date, it 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. (subtitles)
Hong Kong · 2011 · Ann Hui · 118min