Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case

Ai Weiwei The Fake Case
Ai Weiwei The Fake Case
Directed by Andreas Johnsen
Produced by Katrine Sahlstrøm
Starring Ai Weiwei
Cinematography Andreas Johnsen
Edited by Adam Nielsen
Rosforth Films
Danish Documentary
Distributed by International Film Circuit
Release dates
  • November 6, 2013 (2013-11-06) (CPH:DOX)
Running time
86 minutes
Country Denmark
Language Mandarin

Ai Weiwei The Fake Case is a 2013 documentary film about Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, directed by Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen. The film won Best 2014 Documentary in Danish Film Critics Association's 67th Bodil Awards, played in the official selection of 2014 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.[1][2][3]

The documentary explores Ai Weiwei's battle against the fake tax case thrust on him by the Chinese government in effort of political suppression and the consequences that the 81-day detention had on his art, politics and personal life.


Ai Weiwei The Fake Case opens with scenes of Ai Weiwei being released from his 81-day detention spent in solitary confinement, and he is subsequently put on house arrest following gigantic and inexplicable charges of tax evasion, a case film's title references. He suffers from a 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. Ai Weiwei is visibly shaken, but during his year on probation he steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the mighty authoritarian regime in his fight for human rights and free expression.

The film picks up where Alison Klayman's Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry left off, but Ai Weiwei The Fake Case is more explicitly political.[4] The documentary also features creation of S.A.C.R.E.D., an artwork featuring sculpture dioramas of Ai's time in prison, which premiered during the 2013 Venice Biennale.[5]

Critical reception

The film received generally positive reviews, with Ai Weiwei The Fake Case rated 94% Fresh on Rottentomatoes.[6] Metacritic's Metascore of the documentary is 74%.[7]


External links

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