Ai Weiwei, Artist
"Coronation" China's Pandemic Crackdown

​​​​​​​Screening and Q & A will be in English.

Screening: 15:00-16:55 / Press Conference: 17:00-17:45

Unlike his previous works, "Coronation", the latest documentary by world-famous Chinese artist and performer Ai Weiwei, which uses exclusive footage to portray the historic lockdown in Wuhan, has received little attention. "China has secured a strong position in most international film festivals, and has become a determinant player in the film market. Nobody wants to get into trouble", Ai Weiwei said upon being informed of the film's rejection by the Venice International Film Festival, where his previous works have been lauded. The documentary, which is available on Vimeo , has been also refused by major platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix and has never been publicly shown in Japan.

The making of "Coronation", a 115-minute, slow, at times painful, recount of the first full lockdown of a big city in history, was possible thanks to the often anonymous cooperation of ordinary citizens, nurses, doctors and even local officials. There is almost no narration: images speak for themselves and prompt the viewer to reflect on the rigid, but extremely efficient Chinese management of the pandemic. The lockdown was characterized by "a mixture of surveillance, ideological brainwashing and brute determination to control every aspect of society", to put it in Ai Weiwei's words. The fact that this testimony, created by one of the most important names in contemporary art, hasn't yet found a prestigious platform to reach viewers should lead us all to ponder the compromises our society imposes on us all, at a time when submission seems to be the price for protection.

January 22nd is the anniversary of the first Wuhan lockdown and also the date when China's official state-backed documentary "Days And Nights In Wuhan" will open in Chinese cinemas. It comes as, after many delays, the WHO special investigation commission is starting its mission in the city. Ai Weiwei who defines himself as "a nomadic refugee", has now temporarily settled in Lisbon, Portugal, after stints in Germany and England. He will join us from there to talk about his work, the pandemic that has caused more than two million deaths, and about any other subject we care to discuss. 

How to watch the movie online: 

Simply click here for free access to the film. This link is valid from Jan 21st until January 23rd. 

How to attend:
Please register at with your name, name of media outlet, FCCJ membership number. Due to space restrictions, please note number of reservations will be limited to 20. Doors open at 14:45 for the screening. Please sign in your name and contact details at the reception and to have your temperature taken before proceeding.

How to watch the presser online:
Livestreaming of the press conference will be available and video of this event will be uploaded to our FCCJ YouTube channel.

How to ask questions: 
Members watching the event online can submit questions for the speakers in advance using this submission form (English only).

TV crew: Please make a reservation at Doors open for TV crews only at 14:30.

Professional Activities Committee