Ai Weiwei The Fake Case

  • Andreas Johnsen
  • Denmark
  • 2013
  • 86 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
In recent years, conceptual artist Ai Weiwei had become a significant voice in opposing the Chinese government. This led to his 2011 arrest and subsequent solitary confinement, which lasted three months. The Fake Case follows Ai Weiwei after his return home, though he is still on parole and being sued for tax evasion: a lawsuit that he dubs "The Fake Case." Straightforward camerawork captures Ai Weiwei with his family in and around his house, during interviews and while dealing with uncertainty and new provocations. The artist reflects on his experiences in prison and the Chinese political climate, and wonders how far he should take his activism – after all, he now has to worry about his wife and son. The film documents his nerve-racking game of chess with the authorities, who keep coming up with new charges against him. Strengthened by the support of his sympathizers, which comes in the form of letters and donations, Ai Weiwei toils onward in his struggle. The troubles with his enemies provide inspiration for making new works of art, the only outlet for him to vent his frustration.


  • 86 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, Mandarin
  • Subtitles in: English
Andreas Johnsen
Katrine A. Sahlstrøm for Danish Documentary
Executive producer
Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær for Danish Documentary Production, Andreas Johnsen for Rosforth
Andreas Johnsen
Adam Nielsen

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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IDFA history

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