Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry


Mon, Apr 23

   6:00 / Kabuki

Wed, Apr 25

   9:15 / Kabuki


USA/China, 2012, 91 min


Alison Klayman
Alison Klayman, Adam Schlesinger
Alison Klayman
Jennifer Fineran
Ilan Isakov
Danging Chen, Ying Gao, Changwei Gu, Tehching Hsieh,Huang Hung
IFC Sundance Selects, 11 Penn Plaza, 18th Floor, New York NY 10001. FAX: 646-273-7250. EMAIL:

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Ticket info: The following screenings of this film are "At Rush": Mon Apr 23, 6:00; Wed Apr 25, 9:15

At his Beijing studio, internationally heralded conceptual artist and dissident Ai Weiwei oversees an expert staff busily executing his ideas ahead of an upcoming show at the Tate Modern, a colony of cats freely roams the grounds (one, marvels Ai, can even open doors) and a bulky surveillance camera squats conspicuously atop a nearby pole—impatient to remind the tenants the state is watching. The battle between the Chinese government and Ai, a savvy devotee of Twitter and online activism, acquires many forms and shades. Alison Klayman’s camera captures an impressive range of them in this persuasive firsthand portrait, which doubles as a rousing snapshot of the New China. Beginning in 2009, Klayman finds Ai and associates mounting an internet campaign to collect the names of thousands of young victims of shoddy “tofu dregs” schoolhouses otherwise kept anonymous by an intractable government after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake—a campaign inspiring Ai’s powerful outdoor installation at an exhibition in Germany. Klayman describes an inextricable tie between art, conscience and political action, not only for Ai but for a restive public, as pressure builds among the alternately impassive and violent deputies of the state. That pressure will give way alarmingly. But much like the cat he admires, Ai has it in him to open doors—with no inclination to close them again behind him.

—Robert Avila

Co-presented by Asian Art Museum

In English and Mandarin with English subtitles. Special support for this program generously provided by Bob and Randi Fisher.

Facebook Share Film

Alison Klayman

Alison Klayman is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. Fluent in Mandarin and Hebrew, she graduated from Brown University in 2006 and spent the next four years in China, where she produced radio and television stories for NPR, AP Television, Voice of America, Current TV and CBC. Her documentary short, Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983–1993, accompanied the artist’s exhibition at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing from January through April 2009. She also produced Who’s Afraid of Ai Weiwei? for PBS Frontline. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry marks her feature documentary debut.