Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2014)

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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 Circuitmore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 6, 2015
Runtime:
International Film Circuit Inc. - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (13)

If you want to provoke an artist, try to stifle him.

Full Review… | June 26, 2014
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 19, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Remarkably intimate and astute.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 29, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 23, 2014
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 16, 2014
RogerEbert.com
Top Critic

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.

366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

We return to Ai Weiwei after his detention by Chinese authorities. After an initial silence, truths bubble to the surface as a true rebel emerges in all his glory.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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