Renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei is no stranger to getting on the wrong side of the Chinese government. He’s been vocal about his opposition to the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. In 2011, he was arrested and detained for 81 days without being charged. So it makes sense, then, that we’d find him covering the Hong Kong protests.
In February 2019, the Hong Kong government proposed a bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects from Hong Kong to face trial in mainland China. The citizens in Hong Kong came out by the millions to protest, filling the streets and demanding they keep their democratic system and keep the Chinese government out of their courtrooms.
Cockroach is a dramatic visual record of this pro-democracy movement, one that ended this summer with China’s grip on Hong Kong tighter than before. Still, its coordinated protests and mass mobilization of young people inspired millions across the world and created defensive tactics echoed by Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. this summer.
Audiences can see Ai Weiwei’s newest venture on Alamo Drafthouse’s VOD platform, Alamo On Demand on Friday, December 18. Additionally, you can join a watch party for Cockroach featuring a talk with the director, Ai Weiwei, on Saturday, December 19 at 3:30PM.