Programme

Ascension

Jessica Kingdon

United States, 2021 / 97 min / OV Mandarin with French or English subt. / Documentary

There are many steps to achieving the new Chinese dream.

At the very bottom is a job market in which the lucky ones get a job in which sitting down is allowed; above that, there are boot-camp-style training camps for joining mega-corporations. Whoever works hard enough can climb the ladder towards more wealth, prestige, and luxury. Chinese-American filmmaker, Jessica Kingdon, closely examines the great industrial revolution in China, where each day, workers manufacture millions of pipes, water bottles, phones, sex dolls, and MAGA hats while millions of people are learning the correct ways to smile, nod, and recite affirmations meant to guarantee their success. This industrial revolution has two types of conveyor belts: one for products—and one for people.

Kingdon delivers a first feature film that shows those who, day after day, make sure that production never sleeps, but also those who are already at the top of the ladder. A fascinating chronicle of the "Chinese Dream", which holds its own risks for the future.

Screenings
Sat 05/03 16:30 Cinémathèque Mandarin OV with FR. subt Public https://luxfilmfestfilms.megatix.be/en/HO00004340?locationFilters=LFFCI&dateTime...
Mon 07/03 20:30 Ciné Utopia Mandarin OV with ENG. subt Public https://luxfilmfestfilms.megatix.be/en/HO00004340?locationFilters=LFFCU&dateTime...
Fri 11/03 16:30 Cinémathèque Mandarin OV with ENG. subt Public https://luxfilmfestfilms.megatix.be/en/HO00004340?locationFilters=LFFCI&dateTime...

“Brilliant documentary", "a fascinating film" 
Cath Clarke, The Guardian, 10/01/2022

"Enlightening, infuriating and globally relevant."  - Roxana Hadadi, Los Angeles Times, 07/10/2021

"A fascinating, universal story of inequality and class division." - Allan Hunter, Screen Daily, 13/06/2021

 “Ascension takes an unsettling documentary look behind the scenes of the new Chinese economy.” -Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post, 19/10/2021  

“Jessica Kingdon's observational documentary looks at the contemporary Chinese economy, focusing on the blue-collar workers, middle-class consumers and wealthy hedonists fueling this modified version of capitalism.” - Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 23/06/2021

Awards
  • Winner of the Best Documentary Feature Award, Tribeca Film Festival, 2021 (USA)
Cast & Credits
Cinematographer 
Jessica Kingdon, Nathan Truesdell
Montage 
Jessica Kingdon
Music 
Composer : Dan Deacon
Production 
Mouth Numbing Spicy Crab LLC
Coproduction 
Producers : Kira Simon-Kennedy, Jessica Kingdon, Nathan Truesdell
Distribution 
Visit Films
Biography

New York-based Jessica Kingdon is a Chinese-American director/producer. 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 including Rotterdam, True/False and Sheffield. She co-directed the short IT'S COMING! (2020), which was supported by Rooftop Films, and is currently playing festivals, and ROUTINE ISLAND (2019), which is included in The Eyeslicer Season 2. Jessica’s producer credits include Tania Cypriano’s BORN TO BE (NYFF 2019), Ian Bell’s 808: HOW WE RESPOND (Sheffield 2019), Nathan Truesdell’s THE WATER SLIDE (True/False 2018), and Johnny Ma’s OLD STONE (Berlinale 2016). She is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. ASCENSION is her first feature film.

Filmography
  • 2021 – Ascension
  • 2020 - It's Coming
  • 2019 – Routine Island
  • 2017 - Commodity City