Film Screening and Q&A with director Alison Klayman

Thursday, November 1st, 7PM

Edie and Lew Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center

Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Co-sponsored by IGS, the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of Politics and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. 


Jesse Appell

The Hot Cat Club is a small bar/club hidden deep within a series of old “hutong(胡同)” alleyways not far from the Buddhist Lama Temple in Beijing. I went there to spend an hour or two at an improv workshop being held by Improv Beijing, and arrived 10 minutes before the start time to find the place deserted. I asked a tired-looking man nearby if there was a workshop tonight. “I don’t know, man,” he said. “I just came here to drink.” This inauspicious beginning to the evening proved to be a false indicator of the night to come, as Beijing time dictates that people come whenever they want to and never early. By the time eight o’clock rolled around, the tiny club was packed to the gills with improvers, mostly Chinese, and comedians of all sorts. Forty people packed into a tight circle for warmups and soon sounds were flying and bodies moving.
The energy of the improv scene in Beijing seems to me like a tsunami wave, growing stronger and broader, largely unseen, beneath seemingly still waters. When I left China last year, I knew of two troupes, an English language troupe and a bilingual one. Now, at one night’s meeting, I counted representatives from seven groups, which included all-Chinese language performance troupes, and an all female troupe. To me, the fact that new troupes are emerging, each exploring its own style of comedy, shows a real maturing of the comedy scene here. People are doing the type of improv they want to do, no longer bottlenecked by inability to access new styles or forms. The increasing diversity of the scene was summed up by a new friend I met named Zeng Cheng, who goes by the English name Caesar. “There are so many people here who want to do improv,” he said. “So there are new troupes being created all the time. We’re not all good, but we want to perform, and starting a troupe is free. This way, we all get to practice more, and we slowly get better.” [Read More…]


Dear IGS Seniors:

We’re very lucky to have set up a date when Jessica Paquin of the Hiatt Career Services can come speak to IGS seniors specifically about job searches for work in international fields.  Please come and learn:

  • How to use Linked-In and B.Hired Effectively
  • Which International Organizations are Coming to Recruit on Campus
  • Which Government Agencies are Hiring IGS Students

…and much more!

We will meet at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 10 in the Mandel Reading Room (3rd floor).  That’s next week.  Bring your lunch and start brainstorming!

This is the first in a series of brown bag “Beyond Brandeis” lunches that Dr.  Kristen Lucken, lecturer in Sociology and an IGS affiliate, will be hosting this year.  There are some great jobs out there and you’re excellent candidates: IGS will do all we can to get you on your way.