One of contemporary cinema’s most exciting and award-winning directors, Pablo Larraín (Jackie, Neruda) unites Gael García Bernal with 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 Valparaíso, Chile.
Free-spirited Ema (Di Girolamo) is a beguiling, stubborn and fiercely talented young dancer and teacher. Her insatiable passion lies in the sexy reggaetón music she dances to 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. The couple’s agonising decision spins their marriage into chaos, but Ema refuses to let go, setting out on a secretive and fearless quest to reunite her family.
Melding stunning choreography with an ingeniously structured narrative of seduction and manipulation and set to a pulsing electronic score by Nicholas Jaar, Larraín’s mesmerising film hinges on Di Girolamo’s extraordinary performance: tender, volatile and fully alive.