Sorry for the last-minute notice, but we just found out about tonight's free screening of the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, which follows several years in the life of the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. (Among the things Weiwei is famous for: Collaborating on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics, which he later disavowed; attempting to hold the Chinese government accountable for the thousands of schoolchildren who died in shoddily constructed schools in the 2008 earthquake; documenting himself breaking a Han dynasty urn.)
I got a chance to interview the film's 27-year-old director Alison Klayman this afternoon; she told me that while she intended Never Sorry to serve as a study Weiwei's life and work, she had no intention of creating the definitive Ai Weiwei documentary. She might have just done so, however, thanks to the unintentional arc the film follows: While the film was in post-production, Weiwei was abruptly taken into custody by the Chinese government, a fact Klayman edited Never Sorry to include.
The movie's great—Weiwei is a brave, inspirational figure, and Klayman's doc is both an affectionate character study, and a fascinating look at art and activism under a repressive government. I'll run my full interview with Klayman when the Never Sorry officially opens in Portland later this summer, but if you're free tonight you could do much worse than checking out the free screening tonight at the Whitsell Auditorium, 7 pm