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Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a fascinating up-close look at renowned Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei and his ongoing battle with the Chinese government. Named by ArtReview as the most powerful artist in the world, Ai Weiwei is China's most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months he quickly became China’s most famous missing person, having first risen to international prominence in 2008 after helping design Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium—and then publicly denouncing the Games as party propaganda. Since then, Ai Weiwei’s critiques of China’s repressive regime have ranged from playful photographs of his raised middle finger in front of Tiananmen Square to searing memorials to the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in shoddy government construction in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Against a backdrop of strict censorship, Ai has become a kind of internet champion, using his blog and constant—and frequently witty—Twitter stream to organize, inform and inspire his followers, becoming an underground hero to millions of Chinese citizens.

First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to the charismatic artist, as well as his family and others close to him, while working as a journalist in Beijing. In the years she filmed, government authorities shut down Ai’s blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio and held him in secret detention—while Time magazine named him a runner-up for 2011’s Person of the Year. Her compelling documentary portrait is the inside story of a passionate dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the film was also recently featured at the Berlin International Film Festival.

“Chinese superstar artist-activist Ai Weiwei remains elusive on film — until now. With incredible access and the full participation of her subject, Alison Klayman presents a significant introduction." –Peter Debruge, Variety

FESTIVALS:
2012 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 INTERNATIONALE FILMFESTPIELE BERLIN
2012 TRUE/FALSE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 FULL FRAME DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
2012 HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 HOT DOCS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL BOSTON
2012 DOXA DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
 

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