In AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY, journalist and filmmaker Alison Klayman is granted unprecedented access to Ai to present the first feature-length portrait of the sculptor, photographer, filmmaker and installation artist who was widely praised for his work on the "Bird's Nest" stadium for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But that same year his criticism of the Chinese government following the Sichuan earthquake that claimed thousands of schoolchildren made him a target of the powers that be. Presenting a rare look inside modern China while documenting the courageous Ai's artistic process in preparation for major museum exhibitions, his intimate exchanges with family members, and his increasingly public clashes with the police and the government, AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is a unique portrait of the man behind the headlines.
Named by ArtReview as the most powerful artist in the world, Ai Weiwei is China's most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months, he quickly became China's most famous missing person, having first risen to international prominence in 2008 after helping design Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest 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 of the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in shoddy government construction in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Against a backdrop of strict censorship, Ai has become a kind of Internet champion. His frequent witty use of his blog and twitter, he is able 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, while working as a journalist in Beijing. In the years she filmed, government authorities shut down Ai's blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention; while Time magazine named him a runner-up for 2011's Person of the Year. This compelling documentary is the inside story of a passionate dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics.