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73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: After 81 days of solitary detention, world famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is put under house arrest. He suffers from sleeping disorder and memory loss, 18 cameras are monitoring his studio and home, police agents follow his every move, and heavy restrictions from the Kafkaesque Chinese authorities weigh him down. Journalists, the art world and his family all want a piece of him and on top of that he is met with a gigantic lawsuit from the Chinese government, soon to be named The Fake Case. Ai Weiwei is shaken, but during the year on probation he steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the mighty powers of the Chinese authorities in his fight for human rights. Ai Weiwei strongly believes that China is ready for change. And he will do everything to make it happen. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jun 5, 2014
    80
    Fake Case assumes a certain familiarity with Ai and his work — explored more thoroughly in Alison Klayman's "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry." But as a follow-up and a companion piece to that 2012 documentary, Johnsen's new work is remarkably intimate and astute.
  2. Reviewed by: Graham Fuller
    May 15, 2014
    80
    China’s government can’t handle dissident artist Ai Weiwei. He turns every move to suppress him into brilliant conceptual art.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 15, 2014
    80
    Mr. Johnsen offers viewers the challenge and pleasure of an important artist’s company, and a chance to appreciate anew his wisdom, his wit and his bravery.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Nov 25, 2013
    75
    While Johnsen competently follows Ai over the course of more than a year of contemplation and anger, "The Fake Case" doesn't introduce anything new to the equation, and mainly succeeds by virtue of its subject's inherent appeal.
  5. Reviewed by: Christy Lemire
    May 16, 2014
    75
    Watching him regain his confidence, sense of self and the rebellious spirit that defined him gives "The Fake Case" an unexpected and exciting feeling of momentum and, eventually, tension.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    May 14, 2014
    75
    It’s curious that The Fake Case works best as a dark comedy, with one particularly memorable scene finding Ai sneaking up on a couple of newlyweds as they have their wedding photos taken and snapping a few of his own.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenneth Baker
    May 26, 2014
    50
    Will serve mainly to reassure his countless admirers that Ai has recovered his defiance and ingenuity: a heartening message, but one that may be lost on those still unacquainted with his true case against the Chinese state.

See all 13 Critic Reviews