“…The American documentarist Alison Klayman had unequalled access to Ai Weiwei during the time he was working on the Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics – and staging his large So Sorry exhibition in Munich -
- and her excellent film is a lively, informative, funny and inspirational portrait of a courageous, charismatic, highly original man.
He comes across as a gregarious, unpompous, comic version of the Soviet dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Drawing on interviews with his wife, mother, brother, numerous people from the art world in China and elsewhere and the man himself – Klayman deals with every aspect of his career as architect, photographer, conceptual artist, social critic, blogger, tweeter and gadfly extraordinaire.
The movie is equally good on his formative childhood and adolescence in exile to a distant part of China as the son of the despised modernist poet Ai Qing -
- as well as on his 12 years in America where he developed his art – had his first one-man exhibition –
- and literally gave the finger to the Chinese government with the famous photograph that has a raised middle finger in the foreground and Tiananmen Square in the background…”
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