The Way We Are

2007  |  Cantonese  |  HD Digital  |  Color/B&W  |  90min  |  Chinese Subtitle

Director: Ann Hui.Scriptwriter: Lou Shiu-wa.Cinematographer: Charlie Lam.Editor: Chow Cheung-kan.Art Director: Albert Poon.Music: Charlotte Chan.Sound: Tu Du-Chih

Cast: Paw Hee-ching, Chan Lai-wun, Juno Leung

Producer: Ann Hui, Wong Yat-ping.Production: Class Limited Productions.World Sales: Mega-Vision Project Workshop Ltd.


New Territories town Tin Shui Wai witnessed several small tragedies, causing the Hong Kong media to dub it “the City of Sadness.” Ann Hui offers a gentle rebuke to that hysteria with this slice-of-life drama about a widow and her teenage son who live in a Tin Shui Wai housing estate. Quietly and subtly, their lives unfold. This is the way we are, the way we live, and an ode to the salt of the earth.

Date:   25/4 (Tuesday)

Time:   7:30PM

Venue:   HK Science Museum Lecture Hall

Free admission for all screenings. Tickets are available to public on-site 30 minutes prior to each screening on a first-come, first served basis. Limit to one ticket per person.


The film was very different from when it was submitted as a project to the HAF. It was tragic, now it’s heart-warming. Why the change?

The Way We Are and the story I submitted three years ago are different proposals. The former is heart-warming and the latter is about a family tragedy that happened in Tin Shui Wai in 2004. I intend to shoot both as a two-part series on Tin Shui Wai, because that would be a complete statement.

Why haven’t you filmed the proposed project of 2005?

I had originally wanted to film a family tragedy, but the story was simply too depressing. Everyone I knew advised me against it. […] The screenplay for The Way We Were was sent to me in 2001 by a university student I barely knew. The story was quite good, although it had nothing to do with Tin Shui Wai.

When did you have the idea of making a film on Tin Shui Wai?

Very early on. Actually, I’d gone to Tin Shui Wai to conduct interviews and studythe area after hearing about the tragedy in 2004 (in which a jobless man chopped his wife and two daughters to death before committing suicide). Even then, I felt the area was very special in terms of its terrain, environment and people. It was somewhat similar to the squatter huts of the 1950s, or the resettlement areas of the 1970s. It is very Hong Kong, so I wanted to make a story about it.

Interview with Ann Hui

Headline Daily website (April 17th, 2008)