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Reviews for July 27th, 2012


Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter

Number of times I checked my watch: 4
Opens at the Anthology Film Center.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Directed by Alison Klayman

      As an activist and artist, Ai Weiwei has enough sociopolitical awareness as well as the courage to speak out against his Communist Chinese government. In 2008, he helped design the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing before expressing his views about how the government used the Olympic Games as a form of propaganda. He also created a memorial where he compiled and listed the names of 5,000 schoolchildren who died in an 2008 earthquake because of shoddy construction work funded by the government. Not surprisingly, in a photo he raises his middle finger to the camera right in front of Tiananmen Square, a popular location for political protests. He quickly became an internet sensation as he created a blog and communicated via twitter as means of furthering his activism in raising the public's awareness of government corruption. In a tactic straight from the playbook of the Nazis, the Chinese government did everything in their power to suppress him, including shutting down his blog and unfairly arresting and detaining him for 81 days.

      Director Alison Klayman not only informs you of what Ai Weiwei is like as an artist and activist, but also as a husband, son, father and, most important, a critically-thinking human being. Through the interviews and footage of Ai Weiwei, Klayman captures his wisdom, courage and, most surprisingly, his sense of humor. You have every right to be enraged at the way the Chinese government has been supressing him, and concurrently inspired by the way that he fearlessly uses social medias like Twitter and blogging as a tool to express his unadultered opinions of the government. Fundamentally, he refuses to be a "Good Chinese" individual who just sits back complacently and lets injustice happen all around him without doing anything about it. Hitler shut down the democracy in Germany partly because of propaganda and the many "Good Germans" who didn't wake up to smell the fascism and see through the propaganda around them--Hitler once stated,"How fortunate it is for governments that the people they administer don't think."

      Both Ai Weiwei as well as this documentary serve as a vital, informative wake-up call that will make you feel equally enraged and inspired.

Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Released by Sundance Selects.
Opens at the IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.


Directed by Jeong-woo Park

Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Released by CJ Entertainment.
Opens at AMC/Loews Ridgefield Park.

Killer Joe

Directed by William Friedkin

Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Released by LD Entertainment.
Opens at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, AMC Empire 25 and AMC/Loews Lincoln Square.


Directed by Mikkel Norgaard

Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Released by Drafthouse Films.
Opens at the Village East Cinema.

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