China's Artful Dissident

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China's Artful Dissident

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FOREMOST POLITICAL CARTOONIST BADIUCAO CLANDESTINELY PROTESTS CHINA’S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES THROUGH HIS IRREVERENT AND SATIRICAL ART

The Chinese government is desperate to silence critics at home and abroad. Dissident in exile Badiucao is high on the hit list, as Chinese forces endeavor to prevent his political art from breaching their ‘great firewall’.

After initially attracting considerable international media attention with his street art, Badiucao has fled Shanghai for Australia. But as Australia becomes a frontline for Chinese interference, Badiucao relocates to Berlin where he gets a job with China’s most famous living artist, Ai Weiwei. Encouraged, Badiucao ups the ante, controversially taking his performance art to major European locations, such as the Louvre in Paris. This dangerous work leads him towards his biggest artistic opportunity to date – his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong.

Like Banksy, Badiucao remains incognito – but as plans for the Hong Kong exhibition proceed, the personal and professional stakes for the exiled artist become considerably higher. His safety, and the safety of his family, hangs in the balance, as the Chinese authorities close in on his identity. If the artist is compromised, he will likely face torture – the same torture his grandfather endured some generations ago. Inspired by Tank Man (the iconic lone protestor who stared down a convoy of Red Army tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre), Badiucao travels the globe meeting survivors and fellow dissidents who share powerful firsthand testimonies.

From Australia to Berlin, to San Francisco, Paris and Hong Kong, the endgame nears in Chinese territories themselves, unfolding like an edge-of-your-seat drama with a climactic twist. As the global balance of power shifts from America to China in the 21st century, this powerful documentary shines a timely spotlight on Beijing’s continued whitewashing of the Tiananmen Square massacre and subsequent human rights abuses – and the contemporary threat China poses to the global geo-political order.

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Identity Films & Productions

Awards / Reviews

IMPACT DOCS AWARD 2019: AWARD OF EXCELLENCE SPECIAL MENTION: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
OFFICIAL SELECTION: UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION FILM FESTIVAL 2019
OPENING NIGHT FILM: BARCELONA HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL 2019