A simple life

A simple life

Downloadable Video - 2011 | Chinese
Average Rating:
Rate this:
After working for the Leung family for decades, a servant still takes care of filmmaker Roger Leung -- but when she falls sick, the tables are turned as Roger looks after her in this heartwarming tale inspired by a true story.
Publisher: [United States] : Well Go USA : Made available through hoopla, 2011.
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 118 min.)) : sd., col.
Alternative Title: Tao jie


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 01, 2019

A dear, sweet, bittersweet, sad and moving end-of-life movie, perfectly acted by Deanie Ip and Andy Lau.
To those who have experienced similar circumstances, especially multiple times, this story can offer solace or be heart rending.
[Note the similarities when the eldercare assistant is describing the services and various stepped fees, et cetera, to America's horrible mish-mash! Awhile back I was viewing a Korean movie where several of the characters remarked on the similarity between Chinese and Americans, with Koreans being or thinking along different lines. I found myself in agreement as when I worked for a year in Hong Kong, the HK Chinese were so similar to Americans [although perhaps a bit more clean cut in behaviors]. Two very similar traditionally mercantilist groups.]

Sep 19, 2016

Good for one of those days when you want something quiet. I guess the story is sad, but it doesn't feel depressing.

Jul 27, 2016

It is a simple story! Slow-moving! Compassionate, loving!
I am surprised to see such high number of the stars so many people gave!
The actress playing Ah Tao, the housemaid, did a great job at acting! It is a nice story! Sad to see someone getting older and more ill.. Very realistic! The other characters at the Care home and the Market were quite good and interesting! Roger was a bit more than OK! I like this actor in the action movies more!
The script in some places was very poor, such as during the business meetings! It could have used some tuning!
It is a relatively good story...

May 25, 2016

Would love to watch this with English subtitles.

Dec 31, 2014

Stoic and self-effacing, Ah Tao has been the Leung family’s maid for over 60 years. Nowadays, with its members either dead or scattered around the globe, she keeps mainly to herself. A visit from Roger Leung, a high-powered executive in the film industry, gives her a new sense of purpose as she scurries about the marketplace and busies herself cooking and cleaning up after him. But a sudden debilitating stroke lands her in a nursing home and finds the traditional roles of lord and housekeeper suddenly reversed. Owing Ah Tao a lifetime of gratitude (she not only raised him but nursed him after his first heart attack) Roger spares no expense to ensure she gets all the care and attention she requires to live out this final chapter of her life and in the process gains a new respect, bordering on love, for the old woman. Focusing on this renewed relationship Ann Hui makes more than a few pithy comments on the plight of the elderly in China’s money-obsessed economy, the meaning of “family”, and the bonds of responsibility that form an integral part of the social contract. She even manages to sneak in the occasional wry observation on Hong Kong’s movie industry for good measure. The camera lovingly embraces everyone it touches from the luminous Deannie Yip as Ah Tao to the cast of elderly extras populating the nursing home. This is a film of gentle conversations and warm memories which, despite its underlying sense of loss, elicits moments of genuine humour. Unfortunately it is also firmly rooted in Hong Kong cultural realities and as such much of its subtle commentary on race, identity and status are lost on Western audiences. It is this one drawback that renders it a very well made, if unexceptionally generic, family drama.

Dec 20, 2014

A moving story about the end of life and the courage of a selfless caregiver. Also a glimpse into elder care in Hong Kong, where a luxurious single room is a space the size of a small bathroom created by partitions that don't reach the ceiling. Entertainers come at the holidays to be filmed singing for the seniors and giving them presents, but then the presents are taken away to be distributed again at their next appearance. The producers promise they will deliver replacement presents later. Ah Tao and Roger love each other, but the film shows Ah Tao's struggle to through the challenges of life, even in a nursing home, on her own. A compassionate and unflinching film.

voisjoe1 Jul 15, 2014

Chinese superstar Andy Lau plays a young rising film maker who has a somewhat estranged relationship with the family’s long employed and aging housekeeper. You know, they had a closer relationship when he was growing up, but adolescence brought in that phase of independence and now they hardly talk to one another. The housekeeper, getting old and feeble, could use a little help from Lau. He supplies it and he finds that helping one’s elder, while it takes an effort, is highly rewarding to the giver. This is a wonderful story on how to appreciate one’s elder during their last days. You will feel a lot better about yourself if you put in a little extra effort to show a little compassion, humor, and concern.

Jul 13, 2014

The title means 'simple life' and the movie is that. It is laid back yet realistic. It is not heavy handed and has two powerhouses acting in it. It has Andy Lau with his real-life godmother Deanie Ip. Maybe that is why the two mesh so beautifully. The movie is really about a relationship between a mother and a son, since Ah Tao has basically raised Roger. The only problem is that it just goes on too long and will seem slow to many. But to watch Andy and Deanie for 118 mins seemed in the end fine with me.

Jan 14, 2014

A docudrama based on the mutual loving relationship between a house maid and the family she had served for ~sixty years. It was also about issues involving aging and end of life in Hong Kong. For a more in depth look, suggest to see Frontline's "Life and Death in Assisted Living" DVD.

Dec 23, 2013

John 15:13

New International Version (NIV)

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DCPL

To Top