Ascension: moment to moment, it doesn’t feel like Jessica Kingdon’s documentary about Chinese society is doing anything other than observing. The images, mostly shot by herself (with Nathan Truesdell), are beautifully hypnotic, almost abstract at times; they are not given context by narration or interviews, what you see is what you get. But the structure, as it climbs the social ladder, is what gives guidance; still, the film is not telling the viewer what to think, instead making one think. What drives pretty much everyone shown is something universal, the drive to get a better life, what it entails and what it costs; so this is specifically about China, but very relatable in most Western societies. The musical score by composer Dan Deacon is a perfect fit for the images. It pace can be slow, but this is quite an interesting watch.