Directed by Andreas Johnsen
After 81 days of solitary detention world famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is put under house arrest. 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. Journalists, the art world, and his family all want a piece of him and on top of that he is hit with a gigantic lawsuit from the Chinese government, which he soon names 'The Fake Case'. Ai Weiwei is shaken, but during the year on probation he steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the mighty powers of the Chinese authorities in his fight for human rights. Ai Weiwei strongly believes that China is ready for change. And he will do everything to make it happen.
★★★ Stephen Rees,
"Johnsen intimately chronicles the fascinating push-pull of Ai's daily existence: the man he truly is now contrasted with the man he hopes to become once again. Ai is still defiant enough to tail the men who've been assigned to tail him -- and how often do you see a car chase in a documentary? -- but he also suffers from nightmares and terrible sleep, nodding off in broad daylight on the patio while in the middle of a conversation. He seems to be in a constant fog even as he engages in the activities he loves-and yet, that fire clearly still burns within."
- Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com