Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Director: Alison Klayman

USA, Documentary, 2012, 91 min, chinese with english and lithuanian subtitles, V

Ai Weiwei is China's most celebrated contemporary artist and its most outspoken domestic critic. In 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months he quickly became China’s most famous person, having first risen to international prominence in 2008 after helping design Beijing’s iconic Olympic Stadium and then publicly denouncing the Games as party propaganda. Since then, Ai Weiwei’s critiques of China’s repressive regime have ranged from playful photographs of his raised middle finger in front of Tiananmen Square to searing memorials to the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in shoddy government construction in the Sichuan earthquake. Against a backdrop of strict censorship, Ai has become a kind of Internet champion, using his blog and social networks to organize, inform and inspire his followers, becoming an underground hero to millions of Chinese citizens. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to the charismatic artist, as well as his family and others close to him. Her compelling documentary portrait is the inside story of a passionate dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.


2012 – Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance at the Sundance Film Festival (USA).

About the director:

Alison Klayman is an American journalist and documentary filmmaker. She grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Brown University (Providence, USA) in 2006 with a degree in history. From 2006 to 2010 she lived in China and produced feature stories for various television channels and radio stations there. She also began shooting her debut documentary feature, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”, following the artist and activist for two years. When Chinese authorities detained Ai for three months in 2011, Klayman made many media appearances to speak about Ai and her work. Her film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (USA) in 2012, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize and received a Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance. 

Section: All The Muses

Dir. of Photography: Alison Klayman

Music: Ilan Isakov