Release date:May 16, 2014
Studio:International Film Circuit
A provocative documentary about Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei - named the world’s most powerful artist by Art Review Magazine - made with unprecedented access to the artist by Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen during Ai's year under house arrest. In April 2011, Ai Weiwei is kidnapped by the Chinese authorities and detained at a secret location. 81 days later he is released, but put under house arrest. The film follows Ai as he first returns home. He suffers from sleeping disorder and memory loss, 18 cameras are monitoring his studio and home, police agents follow his every move, and heavy restrictions from the Kafkaesque Chinese authorities weigh him down. Journalists, the art world and his family all want a piece of him and on top of it he is met with a $2.5 million lawsuit from the Chinese government, soon to be named ‘The Fake Case.' As film crews constantly ask Ai for statements, he has to stop them at his door since he is banned from talking, but Johnsen is behind the scenes to record his life. Amongst many moments captured by the filmmaker, we see Ai spending time with his young son, talking about the dark past with his mother, chasing the police after they accidentally injure one of his staff, and secretly creating S.A.C.R.E.D. During the year on probation Ai steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the mighty powers of the Chinese authorities in his fight for human rights. Strongly believing that China is ready for change, he will do everything to make it happen.