Human Flow


Sequoia 1 Fri, Oct 6, 2017 12:00 PM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:140 min.
Director:Ai Weiwei
Producer:Heino Deckert
Screenwriter:Chin-Chin Yap
Tim Finch
Boris Cheshirkov
Cinematographer:Murat Bay
Christopher Doyle
Lv Hengzhong
Editor:Nils Pagh Andersen
Print Source:Magnolia Pictures
Note Writer:Brian Karl


Following the success of his extraordinary installation on Alcatraz, renowned artist Ai Weiwei turns his talents to investigating the impact of recent large-scale human migrations—forced by war, ethnic cleansing, and other threats of violent collateral damage—on the migrants themselves. The stories and struggles emerge of those camped out in the long-term limbo of growing tent cities, or simply sleeping, exhausted, by railroad tracks after days and weeks of walking on foot. With often stunning images—from gorgeous blue Mediterranean waters to sprawling desert camps and heavily policed barbed wire borders—the film provides real-world snapshots of precarious river crossings and jittery shore-landings of overloaded rubber dinghies. Both fact-filled and impressionistic, casually intimate at times and sweeping in scope, this documentary records refugees’ driven travels and precarious encampments. With the artist’s eye often apparent in the framing and movements of shots, Human Flow captures fleeting individual portraits from amidst these streams of humanity fleeing danger.

Sponsored by

In association with Headlands Center for the Arts.

Additional Information

Ai Weiwei is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that resonate with timely phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. Recent exhibitions include: Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC; Maybe, Maybe Not at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; Law of the Journey at the National Gallery in Prague; Ai Weiwei. Libero at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence; #SafePassage at Foam in Amsterdam; translocation - transformation at 21er Haus in Vienna; and Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Born in Beijing in 1957, Weiwei currently resides and works in both Beijing and Berlin. He has made numerous documentaries about social and political issues that have won major film festival awards, including Disturbing the PeaceOne RecluseSo SorryOrdos 100, and Ai Weiwei’s Appeal ¥15,220.910.50.