Short Takes: “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

SUNDANCE SELECTS

91 minutes

Knowing what fate has in store for the Chinese dissident artist gives Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry a foreboding air. At the outset, we see Ai, revered for his work at the Beijing Olympics, fearlessly tallying kids killed in the Sichuan earthquake thanks to shoddily built schools. He sues a cop who hits him on the head, documenting each bureaucratic step with cameras and tweets. And when the authorities demolish his studio, he holds a public “celebration.” With each act, you wonder if this will be the one that lands him in solitary, where he will spend 81 days for “tax evasion.” Lockup costs Ai some of his swagger, but the deluge of donations to pay his fine speaks to his inspirational clout and social-media mojo.

This review originally appeared in our July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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