One of the things I love about Netflix, other than the obvious, is that they are able to feed my documentary cravings from time to time. I talked about some of my favorite films of the past year back in January and I made sure to split the favorites amongst feature films and documentary films. Ai Weiwei made it on the top ten list of documentary films for last year, a list that included several personal favorites and a few Oscar nominated documentaries. Ai Weiwei stood out to me the most for the topical reason of the current events that were taking place with its subject Ai Weiwei. A political activist that was currently under house arrest by the Communist regime of China. A dissident that dared speak out on a national level about his country and in doing so, makes him of the biggest, most powerful figures in China due to his international fame.
This documentary looked to highlight the man who dared to speak out against the government, an artist that uses his art to make a commentary on the society he lives in. A daring and dangerous prospect since China doesn’t seem too keen on people speaking out against them, so utilizing his fame to cast the light on his country is a ballsy movie. Never Sorry doesn’t shy away from getting at the core of this amazing individual, who’s work is polarizing and provocative. You get to see a side of the country that isn’t seen by most people, as Weiwei exposes the hidden side of life and showcases it to the world through art and his recordings.
Below is an excerpt from my original review, hopefully you will take a look at this movie on Netflix Instant as well.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is, by proxy of Alison Klayman, one of his best works. A visual recording of what his life is like in an increasingly hostile government controlled country. His character defines who he is, a man who doesn’t falter and never stops breaking the old ways and rules of the country. His art, from breaking a priceless Han dynasty vase to painting product brands on the side of century old vases, shows a defiance, but calculated move to get people to pay attention to what he has to say. Weiwei is often quiet and reserved in the privacy of his house with his numerous cats, but his actions are the loudest voice of dissent. It’s the quiet, tranquil moments of Ai Weiwei’s life that highlight the stark reality he goes out and faces with the government when he leaves his house. Tender moments with his loved ones are then dwarfed by police brutality and the threat of prison.
Full review here.