The Serpentine Gallery presented a screening of journalist and film-maker Alison Klayman’s 2012 film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a documentary portrait of the artist, shot while Klayman was working as a journalist in China.
For this unique documentary portrait, Klayman gained unprecedented access to the artist and activist’s life and work. The recipient of a Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and an unprecedented look at one of its most compelling public figures.
In her director’s statement, Klayman explains:
I want to give people a chance to spend time with Weiwei, listen to his voice and his opinions, see his flaws, and experience the conditions of his life. The idea is to allow audiences to evaluate Weiwei’s choices and, I hope, to be inspired by his courage and humanity. But Never Sorry is not just about Weiwei, or China. I hope the film will move audiences to interrogate themselves. What is my vision for a better future? What would I risk to express myself? The most powerful impact this film can have is inspiring a new crop of outspoken artists, activists and citizens, with a strong vision for improving the future in their respective societies.
Klayman (director/producer/cinematographer) is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker. While living in China from 2006–2010, she produced radio and television feature stories for PBS Frontline, National Public Radio, AP Television and others. Since the release of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, her debut documentary feature, she has been named a Sundance Documentary Producing Fellow, and included in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual list of ‘25 New Faces of Independent Film’.
She grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Brown University in 2006 with an honors B.A. degree in History. There, she won both a C.V. Starr National Service Fellowship and an Associated Press College Radio Award for General Reporting.