Koon-Lan Law and Ruby Yap in Million Loves in Me (2018)

Koon-Lan Law and Ruby Yap in Million Loves in Me (2018)

Million Loves in Me, directed by Sampson Yuen Yun Hong, is inspired by a headline case in Hong Kong: a 45-year-old woman, Katy, was charged with animal cruelty when the police discovered she was hoarding more than a hundred dogs and cats in her apartment. In the film, a Malaysian production in Cantonese and Mandarin shot in Hong Kong, Katy's mother (played by Hong Kong actress Lo Koon-Lan) is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, an illness she developed after being abandoned by her husband and son, who spends her time splurging on fancy restaurants, jewelry, and puppies. On the other hand, Katy (played by producer/writer John Y in his first movie role) has been living in an invisible cage set up by her domineering mother since childhood, without enjoying the normal life of a child. Being physically and emotionally abused by her mother, she also developed symptoms of OCD in her early age: miserable under her mother's domination, Katy is unable to live an independent life as a normal person.

Says director Hong: “I was amazed at the absurd story of the protagonist and her mother when I first heard about it from John Y, who wrote the script. After knowing the story was inspired by a real criminal case in Hong Kong, I gladly accepted the invitation to direct this movie, trusting that it will become one of the most challenging yet fulfilling projects in my career as a movie director. Apparently, the animals are the victims of the obsessive behavior of the mother and daughter. In fact, the two women are also victims – they suffer from different obsessive-compulsive disorders. I hope that our film would lead to increased public awareness and understanding of such disorders.”

John Y, a former lawyer now living in Canada, had represented the real Katy in the controversial Hong Kong case 12 years ago, defending her from charges of cruelty to animals. “For about a year I was in close contact, almost daily, with the real Katy and the real Mami,” says John Y. “In my 20 years of legal practice, this case had the greatest impact on me about life and love, and (it is) a story that I believed should be put on the big screen, so the same feeling can be transposed to the audience worldwide.  I still have great empathy towards the experiences of the real Katy and her mother today. Rather than looking for an actor/actress to play the role of Katy, which is such a dramatic and complex role, I decided to challenge myself and use what I have seen of her to play this role of a loving daughter.”