Xavierpop does #HotDocs12 – @zedsq and @louisyyz Review @HotDocs Opening Night Film : Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry
Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival runs from April 26th – May 6, 2012. We have already previewed our top 5 Must-See Docs for this year’s fest and will be rolling out our reviews for some of the documentaries in the coming days, however today we bring you our reviews of the Opening Night film for the Festival, Ai Weiwei Never Sorry.
Enjoy and see you at the festival.
There are about fourteen things going on in this wonderful, lively and riveting documentary about Chinese super-activist and vanguard artist Ai WeWei and it all works brilliantly. The folks at Hot Docs have chosen the perfect documentary to open its 2012 festival. With Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, we get a glimpse into the world of an artist who not only uses art as commentary of his surroundings, but his innovative use of social media to spread his message to the world in an environment where the simple act of a conversation can get you jailed. The documentary weaves a tale that is captivating, insightful and very educational. We follow Weiwei as he prepares for a couple of major exhibitions while revisiting his past and his run-ins with the police and the government of China. We are then made witness to a time when he simply just disappears and the global outcry that follows. After his release, we are left wondering what happened and most importantly we understand why he does what he does. Above all that, we get to see him in his environment creating art, discussing it and sharing himself with those who love him and the art he crafts. To be able to see a glimpse of what one does for his country through his art is joy and a privilege. A definite must watch.
Ai Weiwei is a Chinese-born, international artist who is also an outspoken dissident of his homeland. This film explores his early life through his stay in New York in the 80’s and his decision to become an activist after his return to China in 1993. From 2008 to 2010, Beijing-based journalist and filmmaker Alison Klayman gained full access to Weiwei. Extensive interviews with him, friends, family and fellow artists show a determined and motivated artist and activist. The documentary shows how much the art and activism are linked with a humor and lightness that belies the struggles he is involved in. As Weiwei prepares for major exhibitions abroad, the art produced is as much about the human condition in China as it is about Weiwei’s vision of the world. After China shut down his ability to blog by closing down his website, he turned to Twitter as a means to communicate with fellow Chinese and those outside China. The degree that social media plays within his life is quite large, and acts as a running commentary on his daily life, and by extension, the lives of all Chinese. This voice is important and has something positive to say.