DISTURBING THE PEACE is a documentary that Ai Weiwei Studio makes for an incident during Tan Zuoren’s trial on August 12, 2009. Tan Zuoren was sentenced to “inciting subversion of state power”. The Chengdu Police detained the witnesses during the trial, which had actually violently obstructed the right judicial process. Tan was charged as a result of his research regarding 5.12 Wenchuan students’ casualties and the poor building construction, which was a suspicious cause about the corruption during the quake. Tan Zuoren was sentenced at last five years in prison.
Ai Weiwei is China's most famous international artist and outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention. First-time director Alison KLAYMAN gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China.
In SO SORRY, Ai Weiwei experienced serious police brutality in Chengdu due to the fact that he and his Studio investigated the dead students’ name list that had died in Sichuan earthquake as a result of poorly constructed buildings corruption. After that, Ai Weiwei traveled to Munich in Germany to prepare his exhibition. The attacks committed by the police led to intense headache and eventually required an emergency surgery. These events marked the beginning of Ai Weiwei’s struggles and surveillance at the hands of the state police.
Yang Jia, a man born in Beijing, was executed in Shanghai. In October 5 2007, Yang Jia rented a bicycle and was interrogated by the police from Zhabei Public Security Branch Bureau. The police took him back to the police office and kept him for six hours. After that, Yang Jia kept complaining about the violent infringement of Shanghai police. In June 2008, Yang Jia carried a knife, a hammer to the Branch Bureau and killed six police officers. He was arrested on the scene, and was subsequently charged with intentional homicide.
FAIRY TALE was one of Ai Weiwei’s works in participation of Europe’s most innovative five-year art event Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany in 2007. Ai Weiwei invited 1001 Chinese citizens of different age and social backgrounds to Germany, and experienced their own fairytale for 28 days. ‘Fairytale’ was the most sensational artwork at the Documenta 12.
A BEAUTIFUL LIFE documented the life of a Chinese citizen, Feng Zhenghu, in returning to China. Feng Zhenghu had been denied entrance to China for eight times since 2009. On November 4, 2009, Feng tried the ninth time but in vain, and was later sent to Japan in force of Shanghai police’ brutality. However, Feng rejected entering Japan and decided on setting up residence in Narita airport to protest, which had lasted for 92 days. Feng twittered about the struggles. This sensational event had brought up a huge notice and awareness around China and worldwide.
The earthquake that struck on May 12, 2008 occurred at 14:28 in Sichuan province of China, had caused approximately 5,000 students to be buried under the collapses of schoolhouses and died. However, the government refused to release their names to the public. Some of Chinese citizens, therefore, started over an investigation in hope of searching out these victimized students’ names and personal information. By September 2, 2009, they had identified 4851 victims. This film is dedicated to those innocent lives.