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3 Documentaries by Ai Weiwei

Posted February 22nd, 2012

China, Documentaries, Featured


We have a selection of works directed by Ai Weiwei and screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012 for you. The films highlight hidden aspects of Chinese society in an intimate and surprising way. There is a remarkable difference between Ai’s sometimes highly conceptual art videos and his social documentaries. For the latter, he acts – before and behind the camera – as a committed research journalist, persistent to bring injustice in the open.

Disturbing the Peace

Directed by Ai Weiwei (China, 2009). Official Selection International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012.

It may be an odd comparison, but artist Ai Weiwei sometimes operates a bit like Michael Moore, confronting his adversaries on camera. But he carries it even further. Filmed in Chengdu during the trial against a human rights advocate.

Ordos 100

Directed by Ai Weiwei (China, 2012). Official Selection International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012.

Ordos 100 is a construction project curated by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. One hundred architects from 27 countries were chosen to participate and each design a 1000-square-meter villa to be built in a new community in Inner Mongolia. The 100 villas would be designed to fit a master plan designed by Ai Weiwei.
On January 25, 2008, the 100 architects gathered in Ordos for a first visit to the site. The film Ordos 100 documents a total of three site visits, during which time the master plan and design of each villa was completed. As of this date, the Ordos 100 project remains unrealized (Ai Weiwei Studio).

So Sorry

Directed by Ai Weiwei (China, 2012). Official Selection International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012.

Corrupt builders and officials were to blame for the high number of dead schoolchildren after the Sichuan earthquake. This secret would have been buried beneath the rubble if not for courageous investigators like Ai Weiwei. The film also shows how Ai almost paid with his life. Screened together with Ordos 100.

More videos from the Rotterdam Festival over here on Youtube.