Poster for Ascension (2021)

Ascension (2021)

Director: Jessica Kingdon Run Time: 97 min. Release Year: 2021

Country: China
Language: Mandarin

About the film:

Winner of Best Documentary Feature and Best New Documentary Director at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The absorbingly cinematic film explores the pursuit of the “Chinese Dream.” Driven by mesmerizing—and sometimes humorous—imagery, this observational documentary immerses the viewer in the differences between social classes, presenting a contemporary vision of China that prioritizes productivity and innovation above all.

“seeks to rewrite the narrative of the Chinese experience…giving the everyday people a much-needed platform to speak for themselves”

—Noah Schwartz for Film Threat

About the filmmaker:

Chinese-American director and producer Jessica Kingdon was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2017 and one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 in 2020. Her award-winning short documentaries include a series on consumer culture and industry in China: Commodity City about the world’s largest wholesale mall, Routine Island on tourism in the new middle class, and It’s Coming! on the sex doll industry. Her work has received support from organizations including Chicken & Egg, Cinereach, and Sundance.

Kingdon’s feature debut Ascension explores the country’s growing class divide through a series of vignettes filmed at 51 locations across China. More from the filmmaker here.

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