Saturday, July 05, 2014

"Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case": a artist and dissident is kept under house arrest and sued in China

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case”, by Danish director Andreas Johnson, documents the effort of the Chinese government to sculptor and silence sculptor and artist Ai Weiwei for his past activity criticizing the government, as with its response to earthquakes.
Most of the film shows Weiwei’s house arrest, as well as his having to deal with a civil lawsuit on “fake” charges that his “Fake LTD” company failed to pay taxes, when he says no one pays taxes in communist China (the “Peoples Republic of Capitalism”).

The film shows a lot of the scenery in his neighborhood in Beijing, particular a cobbled square where he takes his walks to counter his high blood pressure.  Overweight, he does not look well.   His cat is a loyal companion; she sleeps under the computer screen, and in scene she chases Chinese currency folded into making paper airplanes.

The narrative history of the case is hard to follow in the film; the details are on Wikipedia here. There’s another story about Weiwei on Ifex here there are other accounts. 
Sometimes Weiwei says he is not allowed to write at all, even with pen and paper;  other times he is being interviewed by Danish journalists. 
China sometimes complained that his art was pornographic.   There is some nudity, and the men and the women tend to look the same. 
The official site is here (from BBC and Danish Documentary).
I saw this Saturday afternoon at Landmark E Street before a very small audience. 

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