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Join director Jessica Kingdon and producer Kira Simon-Kennedy, moderated by Stephen Maing for a discussion on her compelling new documentary Ascension.


Mesmerizing in its imagery and shot over four years in 51 locations across the country, Ascension is a cinematic exploration of China’s industrial supply chain that reveals the country’s growing class divide through staggering observations of labor, consumerism, and wealth. The film ascends through the levels of the capitalist structure: laborers working on the factory floor, the middle class selling to aspirational consumers, and the elites reveling in a new level of privileged hedonism. In traveling up the rungs of China’s social ladder, we see how each level supports and makes possible the next while recognizing that the contemporary “Chinese Dream” remains an elusive fantasy for most. Moments of dignity and humanity serve as counterweight to the dizzying excess of production and consumption.


Winner of the Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director and Best Documentary Feature at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.


This program is made possible by MTV Documentary Films.


How to Watch the Film

For those located in the United States, Ascension is currently available to stream on Paramount Plus. Visit AscensionDocumentary.com for further information on upcoming in-person and online screenings.


For those in other regions, you can search for the film via Google or another search engine to check the film’s local availability.


Image courtesy of MTV Documentary Films.