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Art under arrest

OUT NOW! Documentary on contemporary Chinese artist AI WEIWEI: THE FAKE CASE gives us a glimpse into life of an oppressed yet iconic dissident.

This doc opens with a shot of young Lao Ai’s back as he’s taking an outdoor pee on the walled premises of his father Ai Weiwei’s studio compound at 258 Fake in Caochangdi, Beijing, where the renowned artist is under house arrest. The tone is set: this is a behind-the scenes affair. Johnsen’s verité-style camera follows Weiwei as he struggles with legal issues, undercover police, journalists, models, fellow artists, fans, art dealers and family while preparing for a new show based on his 81 days spent in solitary confinement. A moving portrait of a giant with feet of clay… 

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case | Directed by Andreas Johnsen (Denmark, China, UK 2013), documentary. Starts May 8

Originally published in issue #127 May, 2014