Two Heartbreaking Films of Staggering (Artistic) Genius

It's easy to distrust the motives of today's international art superstars, but two new films spotlight world-famous talents who possess almost unfathomable integrity—and bravery.

Courtesy of Never Sorry LLC/A Sundance Selects Release; Courtesy of Show of Force

It's easy to distrust the motives of today's international art superstars, but two new films spotlight world-famous talents who possess almost unfathomable integrity—and bravery.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (pictured below), in theaters now and premiering on HBO tonight, documents the Serbian artist's marathon 2010 performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for which she sat silent and immobile throughout a 10-week exhibit.

  • Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry* (pictured above), out July 27, follows China's best-known dissident as he memorializes the schoolchildren killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and battles government censorship, despite police beatings and imprisonment.

Both stories turn out to be more emotionally gripping than any three-hanky melodrama.

—Jesse Ashlock, articles editor at Details

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