Via Zoom: Director Jessica Kingdon on China’s ‘Ascension’

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CHICAGO – China sits across the sea as a country of sprawling expansion … economically, socially and governmentally. There is a new documentary that tries to understand all this proliferation and at the same time is a work of film art. “Ascension” is created and directed by Jessica Kingdon.

“Ascension” is an impressionistic and cinematic portrait of China’s industrial supply chain that reveals itself through staggering observations of labor, consumerism and wealth. The documentary portrays capitalism in China across the levels of its operation, from the crudest mine to the most rarefied forms of rich people leisure. In traveling up the rungs of these social ladders, we see how each level supports and makes possible the next while recognizing that the contemporary “Chinese Dream” remains an elusive fantasy for most. The film is hypnotic, inventive and ultimately chilling.

Photo credit: MTV Documentary Films

Jessica Kingdon’s mother is Chinese, but she didn’t develop an interest in China until her brother moved to the country. She is a veteran producer and director, and currently has two other documentary shorts about China (“Commodity City” and “Routine Island”), and a narrative short “Jessica.”

In an interview via Zoom, director Jessica Kingdon of “Ascension” talks about the themes and implications her new film with Patrick McDonald of …

”Ascension” opens October 30th at (click link for info) the Gene Siskel Film Center and is currently in select theaters nationwide. Created and directed by Jessica Kingdon. Not Rated. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2021 Patrick McDonald,

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