Posted by Valentina Valentini on July 27, 2012 at 6:00 am
If you haven’t heard about Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, then you’ve probably been hiding under a rock.
The critically acclaimed documentary begins its limited release today in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and will be opening to other major cities thereafter. It is also available on IFC Films In Theaters, their on-demand website for day-and-date releases.
Never Sorry, which won a Sundance Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance, is about China’s most famous artist who is constantly at odds with the country’s censorship laws. First-time feature documentary filmmaker Alison Klayman’s was living in China from 2006 to 2010, after graduating from Brown University, and was working as a freelance journalist. She directed, produced, filmed and co-edited Never Sorry.
Klayman was able to get unprecedented access to the off-and-on imprisoned Ai who, in spite of the country’s strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, is able to artistically express himself and in the process gain followers through art and social media who support his vision. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.
“Never Sorry is a portrait of a brave (or simply stubborn) eccentric in action,” reports NPR’s Mark Jenkins. “It’s not a comprehensive study of Ai’s art, which the movie covers only glancingly, and mostly in terms of its political aspects. Viewers will need some background on Ai’s work, or do some fast thinking, to understand the significance of its various forms and themes.”
Klayman on yesterday’s “All Things Considered” (NPR) addressed whether she felt Ai was simply a provocateur or there was a deeper meaning to his art:
“A question for me was definitely, ‘Are we seeing him recede from the artistic practice and move more firmly into some sort of political space?’ But that dichotomy fell away pretty quickly as I got to know him. I really believe that for him what it means to be an artist means to question, to be engaged in society.”
For more information, visit: http://aiweiweineversorry.com/