Artist, provocateur and hero to many, Ai Weiwei‘s life and work has long been a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, even as his international profile and influence continues to grow. Even when attempts are made to silence Ai Weiwei, it can’t help but shine even more light on the man and his career.
And so, in April 2011 when Ai Weiwei was kidnapped by the Chinese authorities, detained, and released 81 days later under house arrest, Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen decided to get it on the film. The result is “Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case,” which reveals the staggering pressure put on the artist by officials and authorities in China. Facing an absurd $2.5 million lawsuit, Weiwei also finds himself under constant surveillance with police on his tail and numerous cameras watching his home and following his movements. This all takes a toll on Weiwei, who begins losing sleep and suffering memory loss, all while he works to figure out what to do next for himself and the young son he can’t leave behind.
For anyone who saw Alison Klayman‘s celebrated and highly acclaimed “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” this is essentially the next chapter of the story, and it’s one you’ll want to keep an eye out for when “Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case” opens in limited release on May 16th. The release will coincide with the exhibit “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” at the Brooklyn Museum, which kicks off on April 18th. Watch below.