Analysis Of Ann Hui's Film The Way We Are

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Ann Hui claims that her film The Way We Are is realistic, suggesting it relies on the accurate representation of the working-class life in Hong Kong. Thus, the use of everyday objects in the film has particular significance, since it is these objects within the house interior that create a believable presentation of life in Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong. In the first shots of the film, we can see a teenage boy sleeping in his bed. The first detail that is noticed is the bedding: pink sheets and a pillow cover with Minnie Mouse on it. However banal this detail looks, it seems like a deliberate choice, primarily because of the stereotypically 'girly' bed covers used by a grown-up male, creating a contrast that is difficult to miss. Thus, the director …show more content…
This choice is also funny and silly at the same time, demonstrating how far apart she is actually from the Western world with her traditional lifestyle. Another example is On's t-shirt with a print saying: “Dream come true. Las Vegas”.
This print resembles a stereotypical idea of 'American dream', which became a symbol of the United States and the freedom associated with the country, sharply contrasting with the actual state of affairs in The Way We Are, where the central characters are stuck in the life of hard labour and lack of funds. Even though it is more likely that the t-shirts are produced locally, the fact that the print is in the language that is not ever spoken in the film is undeniably an evidence of globalization. There is a small detail in the interior, that reflects a different cultural influence – a Japanese Hello Kitty toy, which can be noticed in the mirror reflection in the scene where On brushes his teeth. The presence of this object in the bathroom is not necessary for any purpose, suggesting this is a deliberate setting choice. Such use of everyday objects clearly demonstrates influences of globalization in different cultures which that later spread in Hong Kong and became a part of its own culture. It is fair to say, the presence of these objects is not oppressive. These merely serve as accessories
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Ann Hui uses the market as a location in the film a few times. For example, when Leung first appears, she buys a small portion of beef from a meat stall, reflecting a traditional way of local products trade. The film juxtaposes market and the supermarket, the work place of Leung and Kwai. Supermarket is the space of international trade: in the first Kwai's work scene she is sorting the durian, which comes in boxes with the label: “Durian. Product of Thailand.” The box is central in the frame, reminding the audience that supermarket focuses on international product sales, which demonstrates how supermarket is a global space. Therefore, the contrast between the market and the supermarket underlines the 'glocal' nature of the film and, therefore, 'glocal'-ness of Hong Kong

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