+ short film Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei?
US - 2012 - 88mins
Thursday 28th February, 2013 at 7:15pm
Crisp Road, London, W6 9RL
£7 (£5 conc)
Vegetable seller 'Zola' and bicycle-riding activist 'Tiger Temple' are two of China's first Citizen Reporters. Using laptops, mobiles and digital cameras to bypass the strict codes of conventional Chinese media the two risk political persecution to give first-hand, unmediated accounts of untold stories from around China.
However, with a 30 year age gap, their approaches differ considerably. Twenty seven year old Zola is on a coming-of-age journey from produce vendor to internet celebrity, making the most of sensational urban stories to increase his fame and future prospects. Meanwhile, Tiger Temple, an activist in his late 50's, is committed to understanding China's tumultuous history, reporting on plights faced by farmers in the agricultural hinterland.
A fascinating portrait of news-gathering in the 21st century, HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE is also the story of two people fuelled by idealism, all the while struggling to reconcile an evolving sense of individualism, social responsibility and personal sacrifice.
An inspiring look at the resilience of the human spirit under China's totalitarian rule - Hammer to Nail
A delightful surprise...a dynamic, highly entertaining documentary - Variety
Best Documentary – 2012 Little Rock Film Festival
Best Documentary Special Jury Award – 2012 Independent Film Festival Boston
Best Cinematography – 2012 Woods Hole Film Festival
Emerging International Filmmaker Award – 2012 Open City Docs Fest
Independent Spirit Award – 2012 EBS International Documentary Festival, South Korea
Stephen Maing is a New York-based filmmaker and artist. He is a fellow of the Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program and a grant recipient of the MacArthur Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Independent Television Service. He co-produced and edited the award-winning documentary Lioness, which had its broadcast premiere on PBS's Independent Lens and directed the narrative film Little Hearts which won a Best Short Film audience award at the Slamdance Film Festival.
WHO'S AFRAID OF AI WEIWEI?
Dir. Alison Klayman
US - 2011 - 18mins
Freelance journalist and documentary maker Alison Klayman began filming China's most famous international artist, Ai Weiwei, in 2008. From the two-hundred hours of footage Alison shot, some became the short film Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei?, and the rest was edited and released as the feature-length film, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei? captures the artist immediately before his principled and costly stand against the Beijing Olympics and the oppressive police state he claimed it represented.