WHAT GOES UP // MUST COME DOWN

What Goes Up // Must Come Down (2018) is a hybrid virtual reality/video installation about Taiwan's Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

Each year as the celebration for the Lunar New Year winds down in Taiwan, tourists converge on a village just outside of Taipei to launch thousands of lanterns into the night sky. They represent the hopes of their owners, and as they soar into the darkness they make for one hell of an Instagram post. But, what happens when dawn breaks, the tourists leave, and those thousands of wishes fall out of the sky? When the celebration ends, who is left to clean up the mess?

World Premiere, 56th New York Film Festival, International Premiere, Hot Docs 2019.

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Ingeniously weaving virtual reality and conventional 2D filmmaking, Jongsma and O’Neill fuse two discrete documentaries about the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival into a singular whole, and suggest that our dreams may have staggering, real-world consequences.
— The Film Society of Lincoln Center
 
Jongsma + O’Neill are great thinkers with a strong independent streak, and their latest work cuts against the grain of much contemporary immersive storytelling by creating an elegantly simple vision that is both bracingly beautiful and refreshingly stark.
— Kamal Sinclair, Director, Sundance New Frontier Labs Program