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
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 for 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 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 Nicolás Jaar, Larraín’s mesmerising film hinges on Di Girolamo’s extraordinary performance: tender, volatile, physical and fully alive.
The result is unforgettable.