I was so glad to see this movie. I’ve been a fan of Ai Wei Wei, following all of his trials and tribulations. But I never knew much about his background, or weaved all of the separate stories I’ve known of him into a cohesive whole. This film did that excellently. Funny, poignant and just an excellent portrait of this man. Living and working in China, his artistic protests, coming from the heart, towards a better Chinese future, play out on the world’s stage.
Because of his fame, I was worried about pretentiousness or disingenuousness on his part and that his art was more about generating the fame, but quite the opposite was true. It felt like there were no pretenses in this film, just honesty. Ai Weiwei’s mom even makes an appearance.
Of course this is a political artist, and China is in the cross-hairs on the worlds stage, so filmmakers have a vested interest in making his plight look as real and genuine as possible. I’m not saying anything fishy is going on, but just as his art, this film is also political in nature. As such it may not be as critical or thoroughly in depth as it could be? just a thought.
I also hadn’t known this movie was a kickstarter project. I love kickstarter. About 10% of movies at sundance are kickstarter funded. so cool.