‘Ascension’: Film Review | Tribeca 2021

‘Ascension’: Film Review | Tribeca 2021
It’s possible that Jessica Kingdon’s terrific documentary Ascension (winner of Tribeca’s top doc prize at this year’s edition) won’t rewrite your intellectual understanding of President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream.” For all I know, you could be very aware of the conflicting shifts in the Chinese economy, China’s straddling of a communist/authoritarian past (and present) and its participation in global capitalism with resulting class stratification.

In lieu of a lecture, Kingdon’s film, which fits into a documentary tradition that includes Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City and Godfrey Reggio’s ...
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