Director: Ai Weiwei

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


On a late-September day in 2014, students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College were brutally attacked by police forces and other masked assailants as they were travelling through the town of Iguala, Guerrero. Six people were killed and 43 students were abducted and never heard from again. Since then, the families of the students have lived in limbo with their unanswered questions—and the psychological and emotional toll of the endemic violence currently plaguing Mexican society.

With meditative, breathtaking photography and intimate interviews, renowned artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei details the void stories of the Ayotzinapa victims. Focusing on the families directly affected by the deaths and disappearances, Ai Weiwei gives visual expression to an unsolved humanitarian crisis aligning with his known dissent against repressive governments. Vivos is a lyrical and unique approach to the tragedy that beautifully humanizes each and every victim as an individual and affirms they are forever vivos (alive) in the constant and present consciousness of their loved ones.

— D.B.

Screening Details

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