Mariana Di Girolamo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Paola Giannini
Visionary director Pablo Larraín (Jackie, Neruda) returns with the dazzling Ema, an intoxicating comment on sex, power and chaos in modern-day Chile. Knife-sharp and unapologetically punk, it’s a whirlwind of provocative, no-holds-barred anarchy, anchored by a searing central performance from rising star Mariana Di Girolamo.
Ema (Di Girolamo) is a young dancer in a reggaeton troupe: effortlessly magnetic and dangerously impulsive. Her toxic marriage to older choreographer Gastón (Gael García Bernal) is beyond repair, following a rash decision to hand their adopted child Polo back into the hands of the state. Racked with regret, she sets out on a mission to get her son back, not caring who she’ll need to fight, seduce or destroy to make it happen.
Driven by an electrifying original score by Nicolás Jaar and a reggaeton tracklist plucked straight from the streets of Valparaíso, Larraín’s latest is thrillingly defiant and palpably fresh. The film screened In Competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival.