80,000 Tweets and Counting: About Ai Weiwei’s Story and the Woman That Made a Documentary About His Life

CINEMA - July 2012 Feature Interview

By Sabrina Hao; Freshman, University High School

Photo of reporter Jake Carroll flanked by Joe Wright and Saoirse RonanOver 166,000 Twitter followers. One may wonder why this means so much. Alison Klayman shows the world the significance of these tweets in her documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

Klayman, a journalist and filmmaker, created a riveting documentary about an inspirational artist, Ai Weiwei. When she lived in China from 2006-2010, she was introduced to Ai. After, she decided that she wanted to make a documentary about his life and work. Ai is a Chinese artist who rebels against the Chinese government. Ai helped create the Bird’s Nest for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, but shortly after, he spoke out against the government's decision to relocate civilians (whom were living where the Bird Nest currently stands). He has fought to raise awareness in China ever since. Ai creates art that is meaningful, shocking, and powerful. His photos and exhibits are known throughout the world. Using Twitter and his blog, Ai shares his experiences about living in China and the injustices that he has faced by posting pictures and tweeting. When the Chinese government made him “disappear” from the public eye, or any eye for that matter, the people created an uproar. After he was released, he was on strict probation and was unable to use Twitter or his blog like he did before. In the US, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry came out on July 27. Klayman talks a little bit about her experience working with Ai and creating this film.