Feature

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

An artist’s collision with Chinese authorities

Directed by Alison Klayman
(R)

The charisma of artist Ai Weiwei helps make this documentary “one of the most engagingly powerful movies of the year,” said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. The celebrated dissident Chinese artist “has never seemed more human” than he does at the end of this chronicle of his life, work, and ongoing battle with the Chinese government, which has included a police beating and three-month imprisonment. The Ai we get to know is courageous, but he’s “not a saint,” said Karina Longworth in The Village Voice. “In fact, his gluttonous human appetites (for food, for women) border on self-destructive,” and knowing this “ups the emotional stakes” as we watch him repeatedly risk his own safety in his fight for individual freedoms. His battle is ours, said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. With China rising and bedrock American rights being whittled away, Ai isn’t just an important figure in a distant fight. The middle finger he extends at Tiananmen Square and other international centers of power “stands for a rising tide of global discontent.”

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