Sundance 2012 Review: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry


This is a difficult movie to review because it’s one I’d much rather have people experience instead of read about. I’ll admit to something right up front… I had no idea who Ai Weiwei (pronounced eye way-way) was before I saw this movie. Don’t judge. I just didn’t. But boy oh boy do I know who he is now, and I couldn’t be more impressed with this man’s courage against such an oppressive juggernaut as the Chinese government. He is an important man that more people in the world need to know about.

To put it succinctly, Ai Weiwei is an artist. His art is on display around the world and has been named the most important artist in the world by some publications. But to simply call him an artist is like calling Mozart just some guy who plays music. Ai Weiwei is so much more. It’s better to call him an activist. He’s an activist against one of the most oppressive governments in the world. He just uses his art as a way to get his opinions and judgements out to the world in an area where these opinions are usually silenced.

Many people might know about Weiwei as the guy who designed the Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, only to later decry the entire Olympic games for the government’s treatment of their people in order to put on a facade for the world. He speaks his mind and people need to hear what he has to say.

Whether its his crusades to show the government’s cover up of how many schoolchildren were killed in the devastating 2008 earthquakes (because of their shoddy, cheap construction in order to save money); or speaking up and providing a voice for government imprisoned fellow artists; or simply Tweeting about his journeys in trying to get justice for a life threatening head injury inflicted by police on an illegal raid; Weiwei is a fearless crusader trying to bring worldwide notice to the acts of an entire nation that uses secrecy as its ultimate weapon.

Normally a documentarian needs to find an “angle” to provide the throughline of the story. With Never Sorry, she didn’t need to because Weiwei himself provided that. All she had to do was continue to let the camera roll and let him decide the course. Many ups and downs, his journey has it all. It’s an extremely powerful film that makes you want to take action. I suggest everyone does by following Weiwei on Twitter @aiww and the film @awwNeverSorry.

The more you learn the story, the more you find yourself with no other choice but to act.

A link to the trailer is below. I highly suggest you watch it.


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