Looking for another location?
One of contemporary cinema’s most exciting and award-winning directors, the remarkable Pablo Larraín ('No', 'Jackie', 'Neruda') unites Gael García Bernal with striking newcomer Mariana Di Girolamo in EMA, an immersive and incendiary new drama about art, desire, performance and family, set in the vibrant dance world of the port city of Valparaíso, Chile.
Free-spirited, platinum-blonde Ema (Di Girolamo) is a beguiling, stubborn and fiercely talented young dancer and teacher. Her insatiable passion lies in the sexy reggaetón music she and her friends dance to on the city’s streets; she’s forged a career as part of an experimental modern ensemble overseen by her husband, demanding choreographer Gastón (Bernal).
The couple is reeling from a crisis: they’ve just returned their adopted 12-year-old son Polo back to child services, after the troubled boy set fire to their home and injured Ema’s sister. The couple’s agonising decision spins the marriage into chaos, but the guilt-ridden Ema refuses to let go, and sets out on a strange, secretive, and fearless quest to reunite her family…
Interspersing sequences of stunning choreography with a gripping and ingeniously structured narrative of seduction and manipulation, all set to an immersive electronic score by Nicholas Jaar, Larraín’s mesmerising film hinges on Di Girolamo’s extraordinary performance: tender, volatile, physical and fully alive. The result is unforgettable.
OFFICIAL SELECTION – VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (IN COMPETITION)
OFFICIAL SELECTION – TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL SELECTION – BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION – MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
"Mesmerising. It feels fresh, that’s rare in a medium such as cinema, where it’s tempting to think everything has been done. It's the ambitious movie Larraín has been building up to. Its appeal is visceral, cerebral, corporeal and mysterious. "
- Paul Byrnes, SMH / THE AGE
"The year’s most extraordinary film. Burn baby, burn."
- Stephanie Bunbury, SMH / THE AGE
"A film of what-the-hell originality and punk joie de vivre. Looking for an image to sum up the current moment beyond face masks and socially distanced supermarket queues? Try the opening shot. A humdinger of a film. "
- Danny Leigh, FINANCIAL TIMES
"Hugely distinctive and daring. Larrain proves a master rug-puller. "
- Xan Brooks, THE GUARDIAN
"An indelible spectacle. One of the year’s best. The narrative slowly reveals itself as an especially perverse kind of ‘intimacy thriller’ – not with action sequences but spellbinding psychological and erotic power games. The pleasures of Ema are many."
- Adrian Martin, SCREENHUB
Thursday 13th May
Mariana Di Girolamo, Paola Giannini, Santiago Cabrera, Cristián Suárez, Giannina Fruttero, Gael Garcia Bernal
Spanish with English subtitles
Pentridge Cinema, Palace Balwyn, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Brighton Bay, The Kino, Palace Westgarth, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Palace Central, Palace Byron Bay, Palace James St, Palace Barracks, Palace Electric Cinema