Born in China in 1947, Ann Hui is an award-winning actress, director, producer and sometimes screenwriter from the critically acclaimed ‘Hong Kong New Wave’, who tackles social issues in her films.
Hui moved to Hong Kong when when was still in her youth. After graduating in English and Comparative Litereature from Hong Kong University, whe spent two years at London Film School. Returning to Hong Kong, she worked as an assistant to director King Hu before joining TVB to direct drama series and short documentaries. In 1977, she produced and directed six films for the ICAC and in 1978, she made three episodes for the RTHK series, Below the Lion Rock. Shen the made her debut feature file, The Secret, in 1979.
She followed up with personal issue-film like The Story of Woo Viet (1981) and Boat People (1982) – the remaining two parts of her “Vietnam trilogy.” Although Hui has directed some generic films, another common theme she works with is family conflict, such as in the film My American Grandson (1990). One of her most personal work is Song of the Exile (1990), a semi-autobiographical film. The film depicts the story of a young woman, Cheung Hueyin returning to Hong Kong for her sisters wedding after studying film in London for a couple of years.
Commercial films like The Way We Are (2008) and Night and Fog (2009), while maintaining a motif of displacement, were commercial successes. Summer Snow (1995), was about a middle-aged woman trying to cope with everyday family problems and an Alzheimer-inflicted father-in-law. In 1996, she was a member of the jury at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival. Eighteen Springs (1997) reprises another Eileen Chang novel. Her Ordinary Heroes (1999), about Chinese and Hong Kong political activists from 1970s to the 1990s, won the Best Feature at the Golden Horse Awards.
In 2002, her July Rhapsody, the companion film to Summer Snow and about a middle-aged male teacher facing a mid-life crisis, was released to good reviews in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Her film, Jade Goddess of Mercy (2003), starring Vicki Zhao and Nicholas Tse, was adapted from a novel from Chinese writer Hai Yan.
Hui won best director for her historical epic “The Golden Era,” in 2014, starring actress Tang Wei as the early 20th-century writer Xiao Hong. It was Ms. Hui’s third Golden Horse best-director win, following the 1999 film “Ordinary Heroes” and 2011’s “A Simple Life.”Share: