World-renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei is under house-arrest and restricted by the Chinese authorities in everything he does... But he does it anyway.
In April 2011, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is kidnapped by the Chinese authorities and detained at a secret location. 81 days later he is released, but put under house arrest. In October 2011, he is named the world’s most powerful artist by ArtReview. The man we know as an unstoppable fighter for the freedom of speech is merely a shadow of his former self. 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. Journalists, the art world and his family all want a piece of him. On top of it all he is hit with a gigantic lawsuit from the Chinese government, which he soon names ‘The Fake Case’ in reference to the obvious false reasons behind the accusations. Ai Weiwei is brought to his knees but he is surely not ready to lie down and give up his fight for basic human rights. He spends time with his young son, talks about the dark past with his mother and secretly creates a stunning piece of art depicting his time in detention, always blending his life and art with politics. In response to the lawsuit, ordinary Chinese citizens spontaneously send him money with personal notes about keeping up the fight. Ai Weiwei’s firm belief that China is about to change is refueled, and the headstrong artist finds new energy to provoke the mighty Chinese powers. He wants to stay a free human being, and to lend voice to himself and to the Chinese people.
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.
O Cinema is a cutting-edge independent cinema located in Miami's Wynwood Arts District, that specializes in showing first-run independent, foreign, art, and niche films.