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China Rejects Court Appeal for Artist and Doc Subject Ai Weiwei; No-Travel Ban Continues

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood July 20, 2012 at 2:29PM

Outspoken artist and dissident Ai Weiwei was rejected today by a Chinese court for his appeal against a tax evasion fine from 2011. He was imprisoned for the charge for three months of last year, and upon release was slapped with the fine. After his bail conditions failed to be lifted on June 22, Ai continues to be detained from traveling outside of China.
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Ai Weiwei

Outspoken artist and dissident Ai Weiwei was rejected today by a Chinese court for his appeal against a tax evasion fine from 2011. He was imprisoned for the charge for three months of last year, and upon release was slapped with the fine. After his bail conditions failed to be lifted on June 22, Ai continues to be detained from traveling outside of China.

Ai Weiwei is the subject of Alison Klayman's Sundance and Berlin doc "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," which charts the artist's tumultuous relationship with the Chinese government. He gained international prominence as an artist when he helped to design the "Birds Nest" Olympic stadium for the Beijing 2008 games, but quickly fell out of favor with the powers-that-be when he criticized the Games and China's handling of the Sichuan earthquake that had occurred a few months before.

Supporters of Ai claim that the tax evasion fine is baseless and has been imposed solely due to his controversial political activism.

More at the NYT. Check out the trailer for "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" here. The film has a limited release on July 27, via Sundance Selects.

This article is related to: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Sundance Selects, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.