Short Takes: “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

SUNDANCE SELECTS

91 minutes

Knowing what fate has in store for the Chinese dissident artist gives Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry a foreboding air. At the outset, we see Ai, revered for his work at the Beijing Olympics, fearlessly tallying kids killed in the Sichuan earthquake thanks to shoddily built schools. He sues a cop who hits him on the head, documenting each bureaucratic step with cameras and tweets. And when the authorities demolish his studio, he holds a public “celebration.” With each act, you wonder if this will be the one that lands him in solitary, where he will spend 81 days for “tax evasion.” Lockup costs Ai some of his swagger, but the deluge of donations to pay his fine speaks to his inspirational clout and social-media mojo.

This review originally appeared in our July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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