USA / China, 2012, 91'
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Famous for his memorial to the children who died in poorly built government schools during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, for his 100 million ceramic sunflower seeds displayed at Tate Modern as a reminder about the power of anonymous millions, and for his design of Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium and his subsequent denunciation of the Beijing Olympics as Party propaganda, Ai Weiwei is today’s most outspoken Chinese artist, ranked the first in the 2011 edition of Art Review’s Power 100, the magazine's annual ranking of the contemporary art world’s most powerful players. Ai Weiwei’s battlegrounds are freedom of speech and transparency. He fuses artistic practice, political activism and social media presence, to inspire global audiences in the belief that everybody has the right to express peacefully their discontent with their governments.
Alison Klayman's debut film provides a candid portrait of a compelling artist-dissident who puts the notion of process at the heart of his practice and for whom each move, from filling-in a complaint in a police office, to having dinner with friends in an open-air restaurant, is an an act of political defiance, part of a life-long chess-game with the Chinese government. It also captures revealing glimpses of a despotic Chinese state which often reacts brutally, while casually disregarding the international human rights conventions to which it is a signatory. Like many others digital activists working in hostile political environments, Ai Weiwei is protected by his international visibility and the solidarity which was recently at the heart of 'Gangnam Style for Freedom', a music video parody which reunited artists and curators from the British art world and went viral on Youtube.
14 March, 20:30, Studioul Horia Bernea
14 March, 10:00, Cinema Elvire Popesco
15 March, 18:00, Cinemateca Eforie
Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival, USA, 2012
duPont-Columbia Documentary Award, USA, 2012
1 of 5 Best Docs of the Year, National Board of Review, USA, 2012
Best Storytelling in a Documentary, Nantucket Film Festival, USA, 2012
Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, 2012
Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Canada, 2012
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, USA, 2012
Human Rights Watch Film Festival, USA, 2012
Movies That Matter Film Festival, The Netherlands, 2012
San Francisco International Film Festival, USA, 2012
DocAviv: Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival, Israel, 2012