Ann Hui is a half Chinese, half Japanese Hong Kong based film producer, film director, screenwriter and actress. She was part of the Hong Kong New Wave era when they celebrated young and successful filmmakers of the 70s and 80s. She went to London Film School to study filmmaking. She produced 12 films, directed 29, and acted in 19. She was popular for her controversial films based on social issues in Hong Kong.
One of her popular films is Summer Snow (1995), which won 15th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Screenplay. This film, “Critically acclaimed drama from Ann Hui that’s touching, but not overtly so. The narrative is well-intentioned and interesting, but the distant filmmaking can make the film strangely unsentimental.” Hui’s subject: “Alzheimer’s disease, and its effect on a low income family, in particular the mother May, played with almost regal presence by Josephine Siao. When May’s mother-in-law dies, no one wishes to care for aging war-hero grandpa Roy Chiao.” (loveHkFilm). Ann’s Hui’s role as an author is to not make exaggerated effort to show us the characters’ emotions, but to let the material itself to justify and for readers to relate.
A recent one is The Way We Are (2008). This film, “is a respectful, unglamorous, and serenely charming portrait of regular people and a Hong Kong town that normally gets a bad rap.” “This is a simple story about regular people, and Ann Hui breathes credibility and affection into her characters and their lives by choosing not to overdo the film. Her approach is decidedly quiet, utilizing sparing amounts of music or manipulative technique, and making no attempt to cajole the audience into the role of active participant. ” (lovehkfilm) Once again, Hui uses regular characters to depict lifestyles without overdoing anything. She picks a town Hong Kong media has told it as “suffer(ed) from widespread unemployment, leading to domestic violence, suicide, triad activity, etc. She uses social issues like these to direct a film without overpowering and manipulating emotions.