With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Thursday, May 08, 2014

AI WEIWEI: THE FAKE CASE opens in New York City on May 16th with national roll out to follow

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case
Directed by Andreas Johnsen
2013, 89 minutes

“Powerful. Moving. Absorbing. The world’s press turns off their cameras, but it is
here that Andreas Johnsen’s film begins. Fascinating.” -- Mark Adams, Screen

“Picks up where Alison n Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry left off, serving
as not just an update, but an even more galvanizing call for reform. Ai’s
voice carries louder than ever before.” -- Peter Debruge, Variety

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case is a provocative new documentary about Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei - named the world’s most powerful artist by Art Review Magazine - made with unprecedented access to the artist by Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen during Ai’s year under house arrest. Ai Weiwei: The Fake Casewill open on Friday, May 16 in New York at the IFC Center followed by a national roll out.

The release of the film will coincide with Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the Brooklyn Museum, the first large-scale museum exhibition of Ai’s work in New York on view from April 18 to August 10. The exhibit will include several major works not seen in previous venues among them S.A.C.R.E.D. making its first appearance in North America since it debuted to critical acclaim during the Venice Biennale in 2013, and the creation of which is portrayed in the film.

Synopsis: In April 2011, 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. The film follows Ai as he first returns home. 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 and on top of it he is met with a $2.5 million lawsuit from the Chinese government, soon to be named ‘The Fake Case.' As film crews constantly ask Ai for statements, he has to stop them at his door since he is banned from talking, but Johnsen is behind the scenes to record his life. Amongst many moments captured by the filmmaker, we see Ai spending time with his young son, talking about the dark past with his mother, chasing the police after they accidentally injure one of his staff, and secretly creating S.A.C.R.E.D. During the year on probation Ai steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the mighty powers of the Chinese authorities in his fight for human rights. Strongly believing that China is ready for change, he will do everything to make it happen.

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case was recently awarded the 2014 Bodil Award for Best Documentary. Denmark’s highest film honors, the Bodil Awards are given annually by the Danish Critic’s Association.