Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Directed by Alison Klayman
Cornerhouse, 16 August 2012
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.