Last night, director Alison Klayman began the post-screening Q&A by taking three photos of the packed theater at MoMA with her iPhone. Then she asked "YiDu86" to raise his/her hand. "Ai Weiwei just retweeted you," she said, "and geotagged his tweets from Beijing to the Museum of Modern Art." It was a fitting comment for a movie about, among other things, the power of social media and what it means to create in the twenty-first century.
In a time at which art tends to feel stake-less, Ai Weiwei's photographs, installations, sculptures, documentaries, and infamous Twitter feed have gotten him beaten up, attacked, fined, interrogated, disappeared, barred from social media, and, at present, prohibited from leaving his house by the Chinese government. Like Warhol, Ai is savvy about branding, packaging, and using whatever tools he has available, and he walks the line between clown and provocateur. Unlike Warhol, however, Ai seeks permanent change in the form of a more open, democratic society, and he looks for ways to empower, inform, and incite fellow citizens. Ai WeiWei Never Sorry is an inspiring movie about a determined optimist.