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Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Directed by Alison Klayman

USA, 2012

Cornerhouse, 16 August 2012

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

One of the most intriguing and important artists at work today, Ai Weiwei has also been a persistent thorn in the side of the Chinese government.

As an artist, his conceptions are grand in scale, at once delightful and a challenge to encounter: witness the ‘sunflower seeds’ installation at the Tate Modern a couple of years back.  His political activism, also a large part of what he’s about, makes full use of social media; and he has become a focal point for political protest in China

This documentary gives a full-bodied and largely sympathetic portrait of the big man.  He could have had a comfortable life but he has chosen a path that places him in danger; and he’s travelled along it so far he can’t turn around.  Stopping by the wayside isn’t an option either; it would be more perilous than moving forward.  His eventual fate will be a telling sign of China’s future, a presentiment of the kind of superpower it will become.