Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Yesterday I attended the last of 2 showings of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry at the SF International Film Festival. This documentary profiles the Chinese conceptual artist & political provocateur through interviews & footage of him at work in his Beijing studio & abroad. I liked Ai Weiwei's clarity of thought & appreciated the film's level-headed, unsensational treatment of him. In a style appropriate to his art, the film cloaks the political issues in wry humor, starting with a clever cat that has learned to open the door to the artist's studio. Ai Weiwei used a blog & then twitter to gain a popular following in China, & it is fascinating to see police freak out when his supporters, alerted by twitter, show up as he sits down for a meal of pig's trotters at a local eatery. The story takes us through the end of his 81-day detention last year. Though Ai Weiwei seems to have been silenced for now, the over-all tone is defiantly optimistic.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, 04.25.2012 Button distributed to attendees at screening of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a the SF International Film Festival.This screening was "at rush," & the last available seats were taken just as the house lights came down. There was no Q&A, but attendees received promotional buttons with a rude but iconic image by the artist.

§ Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
director, Alison Klayman
USA/China, 2012, 91 min

55th San Francisco International Film Festival
Mon, Apr 23    6:00 / Kabuki
Wed, Apr 25    9:15 / Kabuki

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