Narrative, 88 mins, Pablo Larraín, Chile, 2020 | Streaming 9/23 @ 7pm – 9/25 @ 9pm
Co-presented by Independent Film Festival of Boston
Between elegantly choreographed performances, it is revealed that dancer Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo) and her husband and dance company leader, Gastón (Gael García Bernal) returned their adopted son, Polo, to child services of their small town in Valparaíso, Chile, after he set their house on fire, badly burning Ema’s sister. The couple’s agonizing decision sets off a spiral of guilt and spins the marriage into crisis as Ema and Gastón blame each other for Polo’s actions. Ema decides to fill the wedge in her soul with a flamethrower, a rebellious ode to reggaeton, and a plan to regain motherhood.
Larraín returns with a seductive psychological exploration of a woman determined to liberate herself from societal expectations. Ema redesigns her life and her home on her own terms, with fluidity and fearless freedom, igniting everyone and everything around her—and what burns in the complicated vertical labyrinth of Valparaíso can never be rebuilt.
Nominee Golden Lion – Venice Film Festival, 2019
Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival, 2020
Nominee Knight Marimbas Award – Miami Film Festival, 2020