Ai Weiwei Refugee Crisis Film To Be Screened at Venice Film Festival

Mainland Chinese news reports avoided mentioning the name of the dissident artist, focusing on the inclusion of Chinese director Vivian Qu’s ‘Angels Wear White’ in the lineup instead.

Still from Human Flow. Photo: Official photo.

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s documentary about the current refugee crisis, Human Flow, will premiere at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.

‘Human Flow,’ a film about the global refugee crisis shot in 23 countries that documents the artist’s desire to understand it, will be released this fall.

The film looks at today’s massive global migration issue and examines both the staggering scale and scope of the refugee emergency and its profound personal human impact.

The artist, who is now based in Berlin, produced the film with Chin-chin Yap and Heino Deckert. Andy Cohen of AC Films and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann are executive producers.

Chinese news reports avoided mentioning Ai Weiwei’s involvement in the film, which
they referred to simply as a “Germany-U.S. co-production”.

Chinese fans of the artist flooded the comments sections of posts about the line-up on censored Chinese social media platform Weibo to point out his conspicuous absence in the reporting—screenshots of which Ai himself retweeted on Twitter.

Instead, Chinese media chose to focus on the inclusion of Chinese director Vivian Qu’s ‘Angels Wear White’ in the lineup. The film is a Chinese-French co-production starring Wen Qi, Zhou Meijun, Shi Ke, Geng Le, Liu Weiwei, and Peng Jing.

Other hotly-anticipated films in the lineup include Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing,’ a satire about a couple who decide to shrink themselves to four inches tall, starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz.

Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water’ and Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Mother,’ a horror starring Jennifer Lawrence were also unveiled by festival Director Alberto Barbera on Thursday in Rome.

The world’s oldest film festival, which runs from Aug. 30 until Sept. 9., will also stage a virtual reality competition.