Director: Alison Klayman
Year Released: 2012
The life and work of Chinese artist/hooligan Ai Weiwei gets an important glance by director Klayman, who decidedly spends more of her time looking at how Weiwei uses technology (like Twitter and umpteen cameras) to document his difficulties with the supremely oppressive Chinese government instead of his prolific artistic output. Weiwei comes across as a cherubic and highly intelligent dissident who wants the best for his nation and its future (not to mention its past, which he feels is being erased) and while the documentary is mostly devoted to How Important he is, the less-than-admirable aspects of his life (for example, siring a child with a mistress) get brought up but brushed aside (Weiwei's wife is given a handful of seconds of screen time), and legitimate criticism of his work is ignored altogether. What is vital is that what he's been doing - at great risk to himself - is worthy of attention, as are his gifts as a thinker and conceptual artist (his installation for the Tate Modern of hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds is delightful) ... though you'll have to go elsewhere for a more exhaustive examination of his oeuvre.