Chauncey -Theater 1 Sun, Nov 21 7:00 PM
Series Info
Series:Vino Vérité
Film Info
Rating:Not Rated
Runtime:97 mins
Director:Jessica Kingdon
Year Released:2021
Production Country:USA


PLEASE NOTE: this event will be full capacity with enhanced wellness protocols in place requiring either a 72-hour (or less) negative COVID-19 test or documentation of a vaccine card in lieu of a negative COVID-19 test for each individual 12 or older attending. Learn about FilmScene's comfort and safety policies here

Presented by Bread Garden MarketLittle Village, and FilmScene

DIALOGUE: Producer and Cinematogapher Nathan Truesdell in person!

Vino Vérité is back with a stunning acid-trip meditation on class and consumption in contemporary China. A true vérité feat from first-time feature filmmaker Jessica Kingdon, Ascension unfolds through keenly-observed vignettes, freed from narrative certainty, that together represent a climb up China's social ladder and a descent into hedonistic consumerism.

The Vino Vérité series features talented new voices and established filmmakers influenced by the vérité tradition in person to present their thought-provoking, chance-taking, and visually-arresting films. Each selection is paired with hand-selected wines from Bread Garden Market.

Tickets: $20 public / $15 members // $10 students. Includes wine tasting, film, hors d'oeuvres and filmmaker reception.
6:30 Hors d'oeuvres & wine tasting
7:00 Theater open for seating
7:15 Screening
8:50 Q&A + Reception with filmmaker, wine and dessert

"[A] shockingly incisive, observational nonfiction feature debut." —

"Breathtaking cinema." — Film Forward

"In true cinéma-vérité style, Kingdon delivers a wild assortment of frames that eventually form a beautiful mosaic. Climb up with her and gaze down upon it in wonder." — Hammer To Nail



Ascension is an exploration of the pursuit of wealth and the paradox of progress in modern China, examining the “Chinese Dream” in all its complexities. Cleverly structured in three acts to reflect distinct social strata of laborers making sex dolls on a factory floor, to the selfie-conscious middle class to the jet-pack heights of the wealthy elites. Filmed with empathy, humor and a critical eye, Kingdon's documentary continues in the great tradition of symphonic observation, from Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera to Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqtsi, while simultaneously adding a layer of humanity to the YouTube era's "how it's made" fascination. Kingdon's hypnotic essay communicates multitudes while offering the final impression to the viewer.


Jessica Kingdon is a Chinese-American director and producer. She was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and selected for the 2020 DOC NYC “40 Under 40” list. Her award-winning documentary short “Commodity City,” about the world’s largest wholesale mall in Yiwu, China, was shortlisted for a Cinema Eye Honor. Ascension is her first feature film.

Tribeca Film Festival (2021) — World Premiere, WINNER: Best Documentary, WINNER: Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award
Hamptons International Film Festival (2021) — Best Documentary Feature

"The chance to glimpse behind the curtain of an unfamiliar China is just one of the attractions of a thoughtful, eye-opening film."Screen International

"Kingdon's terrific documentary...finds aesthetic allure and fodder for debate in the complex symphony of industrialism and the people functioning within its order and disorder." — The Hollywood Reporter