This is Klayman’s first film. It’s only a slight overstatement to call her choice of subject monumental, and it’s also an overstatement to call it a choice. Klayman was out of college, bouncing around China when she shot a film to go with an installation of some of Ai’s photographs.
Three years later, Klayman had been granted unprecedented access to Ai’s life and created this beautiful, thoughtful film. You can see her hand in it, but, rightly so, you get to know more of his. Released last spring, it’s won awards and was nicely timed for Ai’s first retrospective here at the Hirshhorn. She plans to continue in documentary filmmaking and is also a journalist.