Written August 19, 2012
An absorbing documentary on China using Ai WeiWei, a prominent Chinese artist, as the means to investigate the government's antidemocratic, inhuman treatment of its citizens. Ai WeiWei, at the government's invitation, helped design the Bird's Nest building for the 2008 Olympics in Tokyo and then seeing how indigents and poor middle class people were treated during the production of the Olympic spectacle there, he became a dissident and began to use his reputation and art to resist these government tactics. He recovered and listed the names of school children who died in the shoddy school buildings during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, responding to and criticizing the police brutality directed towards him afterwards, and creating an artistically successful installation in the Tate Modern made of millions of hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds which, by the way, economically restored the town which had manufactured the seeds. He is also a great fan of democratic technology like Twitter
Written August 15, 2012
Tuesday July 31st, Gore Vidal, one of the world's most prolific and at times, most controversial writers, died at the age of eighty-six; his iconic quotes have been bantered in newspapers, talk shows over the last few days. As I watched this stupendous documentary (made by first time filmmaker Alison Klayman) about Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei, one of Vidal's bon mots resonated: "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."...
As Westerners, with an abundance of largesse, it is impossible to fathom the loss of our First Amendment privileges; herein, is the essence of this intelligent, forthright story of a man whose daily existence could, at any second be extinguished, because of his intractable will to speak, create and struggle for, not only his inalienable rights but for rights of every man, woman and child in China...
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!!
***For full review please visit peneflix(dot)com!!!