Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei

Here's a video (and links to a couple of other videos) previewing the new documentary about the Chinese artist and political activist, Ai Weiwei, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. I've also added my own thoughts on Ai Weiwei.

I've not had a chance to see the film yet but as soon as it starts circulating on the net, I'll do my best to get hold of it. I think you probably get a good idea of what it will be like from the the teaser trailer released last year, a mini-documentary on the New York Times website and the introduction given by the director Alison Klayman for Sundance Film Festival (below).

I can't say I'm a fan of Ai Weiwei politically other than he has put himself out there to challenge the Chinese government. In the teaser trailer he says that he espouses liberalism and individualism. He essentially just wants to reform the Chinese government by having more freedom of speech, right to protest and open elections. Of course I'm not against these reforms, in fact I would gladly welcome them as an improvement for all the people who live in China. But I see the flaws of previously living in a society that Ai Weiwei would aim for and it isn't all it's cracked up to be. He also seems to be quite aware of himself being a well known figure and it seems there is a bit of an ego with it. I also get the impression that his presence puts a bit of a shadow over the many other political activists who have suffered a lot more than him for their dissenting voices (I'm not saying that he intends to do that by the way).

With all that said it's very easy to be politically purist and criticise those who put a lot on the line to try and improve the society they live in. There is no question he's done a lot and risked a lot in the process of his political activism. The documentary will be well worth a watch and hopefully it just uses Ai Weiwei as a central figure to explore what is going on in China rather than making him out to be a martyr for a cause that isn't explored in great depth. Early reviews seem positive, with it receiving a standing ovation at its premiere.

Posted By

Jan 26 2012 06:36


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