Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2014)
After 81 days of solitary detention world famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is put under house arrest. He suffers from sleeping disorder and memory loss, 18 cameras are monitoring his studio and home, police agents follow his every move, and heavy restrictions from the Kafkaesque Chinese authorities weigh him down. Picking up where Alison Klayman's Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry left off, AI WEIWEI THE FAKE CASE is more explicitly political, reflecting Ai's battle against the gigantic lawsuit thrust upon him by the Chinese government in an effort to silence him. Ai Weiwei is shaken, but during his year on probation he steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the mighty powers of the Chinese authorities in his fight for human rights and free expression. The film also features the creation of S.A.C.R.E.D., a new work depicting Ai's time in prison, which premiered during the Venice Biennale. (C) International Film Circuit … More
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Critic Reviews for Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case
Ai granted Johnsen significant access to his personal and professional lives following his release, including his tender interactions with his young son, and the film's intimate nature recalls the verite style of Ai's own video work.
Although expertly edited, Johnsen's film, whose soundtrack ends with Nina Simone's "Feeling Good," presents a less effective portrait of Ai than Klayman's does.
The film quietly and slowly reveals a man struggling internally to find the right response to the restrictions imposed on him and determining that to stop speaking out would itself be a kind of death.
Johnsen intimately chronicles the fascinating push-pull of Ai's daily existence: the man he truly is now contrasted with the man he hopes to become once again.
The view from his high rise windows include the United States Embassy right next door, a reminder of the freedom he longs for in his native country. A freedom he knows can be taken away in the blink of an eye.
Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei is a lot of things: Artist, activist, father, son. What he's not, is dull. But you'd never know it judging by Andreas Johnsen's somnambulant take on his subject's Sisyphean fight for human rights.
While little more than an update on an ongoing dispute, The Fake Case is a welcome chance to catch up with the quirky artist's heroic struggle for freedom.
Heartening chronicle of the further "crazy dreams" of an artist who doesn't intend to have freedom defined for him by the state.
Ai comes across as highly intelligent, weary, extremely wary of outsiders but with a puckish sense of humor.
In The Fake Case, Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen connects with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei after his 81-day solitary confinement for subversion of state power, and deftly portrays a man untrammeled by his opponents.
An enlightening Danish documentary about one of the world's most famous and creative human rights activists.
Audience Reviews for Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case
A peek at the life of Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei as he sits under unofficial house arrest awaiting a verdict on (likely fabricated) charges of tax evasion. This is an important document of a man who refuses to be bullied (and there's no bigger bully in the world than the Chinese government), so it's unfortunate that much of this day-to-day footage is mundane and assembled in such a way that the drama of the situation gets lost.More
After he is released on bail and probation after being detained on charges of tax evasion, the dissident, renegade and gadly artist Ai Weiwei is told by his mother that if this had been happening in the 50's, the Chinese authorities would have simply had him shot. Instead, the authorities go for the death of a thousand cuts, removing his presence from the local interenet, as it is also remarked how much weight Ai Weiwei lost while in prison. But this different approach has less to do with how the Chinese government might have mellowed over the decades, than as to how the world has changed with almost everybody having a camera, thus making it that much harder for a government to disappear a promiment personality totally from view. Luckily, at least one of those cameras belongs to a camera crew which is where this documentary comes in, circumventing the rule against his giving interviews.
Otherwise, Ai Weiwei continues to not only make the work of the Chinese government public but also against their liking simple nudity to pornography which is not only the custom there, as he also puts out his rotund form to make his point. To his credit, he is less interested in power than in inspring others which is where a spectacular flight of paper airplanes comes into play. All the while, he maintains an apartment tantalizingly across the street from the American embassy where a parachute would definitely come in handy.
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