Jessica Kingdon / United States / 2021 / 99 min

Oscar-nominated and visually stunning panorama of modern China, from the poorest factory worker to the materialistic middle class, and to the red wine swelling and fashionable elite.

The Oscar-nominated ‘Ascension’ takes us to modern China, where the contrasts between high and low are at odds with the communist narrative of equality. Narrated by its images and with a razor-sharp aesthetic, Jessica Kingdon follows the chain of production up through the social classes. From the recruitment of workers without tattoos and earrings on the streets, through a growing middle class in bathing rings in vast waterparks, and to the upper class eating 48 month old pork and drinking European wines by the glass. Can development and social ascension continue in the same vein in the world’s most populous country? A visual epic that asks its questions elegantly and with room for one’s own judgement.