Monday, October 8, 2012

Milwaukee Film Festival Day 10: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a documentary about Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei.  After designing The Birds Nest for the Beijing Olympics Ai Weiwei garnered international fame.  As is fame grew overseas the Chinese government started to crack down on his activities.  The government started following him and set up cameras around his studio.  Yet with the power of the internet Ai Weiwei's found a way to get around the government and his international fame continued to grow.  The documentary follows him as he prepares for several overseas exhibits and he increasingly clashes with the government.  Eventually the government takes him to an undisclosed location and interrogates him for almost 3 months for "tax evasion".  He was released after international pressure. 

The film captures his life and art beautifully.  He turns out to be a fascinating subject and while I don't always get his work it is amazing what he can do and get away with in under such strict government control.  But thanks to twitter, which he is on constantly, and his loyal followers he is able to get his message out. 

Overall: 4/5 Slow at times in the middle but inspirational and fascinating. 

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