Ascension - 2021 (Documentary)
2.5 out of 5 stars
What does a rave at a water park, flyboarding, lipstick advertised by the military, a job you get to sit at, and life-sized "dolls" have to do with each other? That's what I'm left wondering after watching the Oscar-nominated documentary "Ascension."
The plot synopsis reads, "The film follows the Chinese dream through the social classes, prioritizing productivity and innovation." that may sound a bit harsh, but I didn't dislike the film for what it's worth. It was a unique look at a world that I had never seen like this before. I had my eyes opened at just how different countries handle capitalism. China is still one of the largest industrialized nations in the world, and this dives into how that title is held.
The most interesting aspect for me was the "How It's Made" style, many scenes simply just showing workers laboring away at their posts. Watching repetitive tasks being done for hours on end was pretty intense. I know that there are assembly-line jobs in the US, but this seemed different. I take for granted some of the things that I just think a machine makes. I'm sure some of the tasks could be automated, but why bother with that when you can pay slave wages to humans. My apologies if that was stern, but so many jobs like this are overlooked and considered "unimportant," that is, until someone is no longer willing to do them.
Capitalism is a terrible thing when it's left unchecked; I don't think this was the entire purpose of this film, but it is one of the things that I took from it. There was an interesting subplot to the film that showed the ranking system in China, just how different two people's lives can be all because of their "social class." I don't pretend to fully understand their society, their prioritizing of industry, or how life works, but this was a look into that world that I hadn't seen before.
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