From China, the country he is not permitted to leave, artist and dissident Ai Weiwei is set to direct a film that takes place in Berlin, about his son he cannot visit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ai will direct a segment of Berlin, I Love You, an installment in the Cities of Love film series, which includes Paris, je t’aime and New York, I Love You. The film will feature Ai Lao, Ai’s young son, and Til Schweiger of Inglourious Basterds. “The film is about my son, he’s been living in Berlin since August and I cannot visit him,” Ai told THR.
In an interview with Screen Daily, Ai said that he is not using the film to “help [himself],” explaining that “it is more about people being apart, a similar condition for so many in the world because of wars, political or economic reasons. But they can still communicate through art, film, and the Internet.“
The producer of the film, Claus Clausen, will be on hand in Berlin, and Ai will contribute by using Skype. “The shooting will be filmed and screened in real time on big monitors in Berlin on Potsdamer Platz and in Beijing on a little screen in Weiwei’s studio, he sees a wide shot of the set. This is a project that exemplifies the belief that love can overcome obstacles,” Clausen told THR. Wang Fen, Ai Lao’s mother, wrote the segment and will also help orchestrate the filming in Berlin.
The film, per THR, will shoot Feb. 7 through 9, during the Berlin Film Festival. Other filmmakers whose work will be included in Berlin, I Love You include Marjane Satrapi and Giuseppe Tornatore, according to Screen Daily.