4 - 11 November

A western female writer and her Japanese correspondent, Hiroshi, narrate a metaphorical journey up the mysterious Mount Fuji in Japan, crossing geographical, temporal and cultural divides. Made entirely with stills, Fiona Tan’s Ascent has been referred to as a photo-film, balanced between documentary and fiction, photography and film.

Successive images of Mount Fuji – spanning the history of photography as well as Japanese and western art and popular culture – inspire the narrators to uncover different paths up the mountain, and to muse on the significance it holds within Japanese history, religion and philosophy.

In the words of David Campany, Ascent offers the viewer ‘a rich weave of associations that are personal, poetic, historical, scientific, anthropological, military, geological, political, literary and artistic. Ascent is a bowl for images, a vortex of images, with Mount Fuji at its centre.’

Join us after the communal viewing for a live discussion with Fiona Tan who will be in conversation with Ben Harman, Director of Stills Gallery in Edinburgh.

Fiona Tan is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Amsterdam. She is best known for her skillfully crafted video and film installations, in which explorations of memory, time, history and the role of visual images are key. Her installations and photographic works have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in international venues. She has written and directed two feature length films to date.

Available to watch online from Wednesday 4 November 6:00pm (GMT) – Wednesday 11 November 6:00pm (GMT)

Live online discussion on Wednesday 4 November at 8:00pm

A PDF transcript of the discussion will be available on request


2016, Japan / Netherlands
Directed by Fiona Tan
80 mins, Cert PG, English and Japanese
with English subtitles
SDH subtitles available

Tickets – Pay What You Can – £5 / £3.50 / £2 / Free
See our ticket scale here

4 – 11 November: available to watch online
Wednesday 4 November, 6.00pm: communal viewing
Wednesday 4 November, 8:00pm: live online discussion with Fiona Tan, hosted by Ben Harman


25 November - 2 December 2020

13 - 20 December

15 - 17 January 2021

Our Autumn Screenings at Home programme is supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI