In the latest from visionary filmmaker Pablo Larraín, director of Jackie and producer of the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman, newcomer Mariana Di Girolamo electrifies the screen in the titular role of Ema, a young, unhinged, bisexual dancer who embarks on a difficult journey to regain custody of her adopted son.
When their eight-year-old sets fire to the family home, Ema and her choreographer husband Gastón (Gael García Bernal) reluctantly return the boy to child services. This act places a scarlet letter on Ema in their town of Valparaíso, whose residents already frowned upon the erotically-charged performances of the couple’s dance troupe—mainly comprised of sexually liberated queer women and men. With audacious cinematography and jaw-dropping dance sequences—accompanied by a mesmerizing ambient/reggaeton score from musical wunderkind Nicolás Jaar—Ema finds its feverish heroine striving to clear her conscience, while setting ablaze sexual, gender, marital, paternal, and societal roles and expectations in her path.
This dazzling, uniquely cinematic experience, which left audiences spellbound at both the Venice and Sundance Film Festivals, is one that will linger long after the credits roll.
Buying note: This is a digital screening, available to view between 12:01am Thursday, June 25 and 11:59pm Sunday, June 28. We suggest watching it at 9:15pm Thursday, June 25.
Axis Dance Company
- Language: Spanish with English Subtitles