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China artist Ai Weiwei's mother cries for him in American documentary

Published on Feb 22, 2013 1:18 PM

American film-maker Alison Klayman interviewed and shot documentary footage of China artist Ai Weiwei for a year before she thought she could actually deliver on her goal for the film: to portray him in a deeper way than had been done before.

There is a moving scene in Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry with Ai and his mother, Gao Ying, in which she tears up as she expresses her concern for him.

At that point, Klayman, 28, had been shooting for about a year. Speaking over the telephone from New York, she says: "That was the earliest moment when I started to feel that 'Wow, I can really do this.' I really was trying to have him as this more in-depth character than any other news coverage had achieved at the time."

And it was something that happened out of the blue while she was at Ai's house one day. She recalls: "He got a call and he said 'My mom's coming over', then she walked in the door. It was spur of the moment and it ends up being such a powerful scene."

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