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March 7 / 20:00


杰西卡金登 Jessica Kingdon
2021/ Documentary / USA / 97 min

Mandarin / Subtitles: English

Ascension examines the contemporary "Chinese Dream" through staggering obser-vations of labor, consumerism and wealth.

SYNOPSIS / Ascension is an impressionistic portrait of China’s industrial supply chain that reveals the country’s growing class divide. The documentary portrays capitalism in China across
the levels of its operation, from the crudest mine
to the most rarefied forms of leisure.

Accordingly, the film is structured in three parts, ascending through the levels of the capitalist structure: workers runningfactory production, the middle class training for and selling to aspirational consumers, and the elites reveling in a new level of hedonistic enjoyment.
In traveling up the rungs of China’s social ladder, we see how each level supports and makes possible the next while recognizing the contemporary "Chinese Dream" remains an elusive fantasy for most.



'Part of the film’s genius is in how the images are put together, sometimes to absurd effect, at other times unnervingly. The system is dehumanising but we see the emotions of the humans inside it. It’s a fascinating film about China that has universal things to say about income inequality and aspiration everywhere: how we’re all sold a dream that’s out of the reach of most. 'The Gardian


Jessica Kingdon,
Director/Editor/ Cinematographer

New York-based Jessica Kingdon is a Chinese-American director/producer named one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and selected for the 2020 DOC NYC “40 Under 40” list. Her award-winning short COMMODITY CITY (2017) is an observational documentary about the world’s largest wholesale mall in Yiwu, China. It was shortlisted for a Cinema Eye Honor
and has played at over 50 film festivals. She co-directed the short IT'S COMING! (2020) and ROUTINE ISLAND (2019). Jessica’s producer credits include Tania Cypriano’s BORN TO BE (NYFF 2019), Ian Bell’s 808: HOW WE RESPOND (Sheffield 2019) and Johnny Ma’s OLD STONE (Berlinale 2016). She is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.


Introduction by Ans Van Gasse
Kuleshov - Urgent FM


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