Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Alison Klayman

A personal portrait of Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, who gained international acclaim for his ambitious postmodern works of art and his political provocations. Never Sorry follows three tumultuous years of his life. Ai Weiwei is China’s most prominent modern artist and an outspoken critic of the government. The film highlights the unique mix of art and activism with which the artist continuously argues in favour of freedom of expression, independent media and more transparency, thereby putting his life in jeopardy.

From 2008 to 2011, American filmmaker Alison Klayman followed the artist who designed the Olympic Stadium in Beijing (‘the bird’s nest’) in both his professional and personal life. From his mediatised conflicts with the Chinese government to the year in which Weiwei’s Shanghai studio is demolished and he is thrown in prison. Never Sorry highlights preparations for large museum exhibitions, intimate family meetings and his deteriorating relations with the Chinese authorities. Ai’s mother is proud of her son. ‘Yet I believe it would be better if he confined himself to art,’ she adds.


Alison Klayman
Country of production
United States
90 minutes
Spoken language
English, Mandarin
Production company
MUSE Film and Television
World Sales
Independent Film Company
Dutch distributor
Living Colour Entertainment BV