Film Screening: Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly

December 11, 2019
6:00 pm
Steinberg Auditorium

On view at Alcatraz Island September 27, 2014–April 26, 2015, the exhibition @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz featured artworks by the artist and activist Ai Weiwei that directly and imaginatively addressed the situation of people who have been deprived of their freedom for speaking out about their beliefs. The work Yours Truly invited exhibition visitors to compose and send messages of hope to political prisoners and exiles around the world.

The new documentary Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly, directed by Cheryl Haines, follows these postcards across the globe—from Alcatraz Island to Beijing, Washington, DC, and Cairo—as Haines meets with former prisoners of conscience and their families to discuss their impossible choices and the comfort they found in messages sent by people they would never meet. The film also takes a deep dive into Ai’s inspiration for the postcard project. Interviews with the artist, his mother, and lifelong friends uncover the touching story of a childhood spent in exile and a postcard that found its way to the middle of nowhere. Ultimately, Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly hopes to extend the incredible reach of the postcards by asking viewers to take the issue of global human rights personally in human rights advocacy through the personal interaction between prisoners and visitors.

Image credit

Still from Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly, Dir. Cheryl Haines, 2019.