When Ai Weiwei was still living under soft detention in Beijing, he remotely directed a short film for the anthology film “Berlin, I Love You.” The film was written with Ai’s partner Wang Fen and starred their son Ai Lao, both of whom had by then relocated to the German capital. In 2019, Ai discovered that his segment was removed and accused the film’s Western producers of collaborating with Chinese censorship. Two of the film’s producers confirmed Ai’s account. Claus Clausen said, “We underestimated the power of China.” BERLIN is the first time segments from the still-unreleased short film have been publicly exhibited.
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Freedom of speech is the right from which all others flow.
- Ai Weiwei, Chinese artist (b. 1957)
Berlin, I Love You short film, 2015
Ai Weiwei: Censored opening sequence, 2020