In Clara’s life, the personal and political are intertwined. She lives with her parents in the outskirts of São Paulo that is slowly being taken over by organized crime. As her mother becomes a congresswoman in Brasilia, her family moves to the Federal District. There as Clara feels her mother’s life is increasingly imperilled, she descends into a downward spiral of self-destruction in which suffering has a life force.
The less she eats, the more power and energy Clara feels she has. Starving herself, Clara plunges into a routine based on calculations, repetition, and ritual: she ceases to menstruate and begins to experience an ecstasy in controlling time. She attempts to devise a geometry of hunger, an impossible theorem where her calculations of destruction at once incite liberation. At the age of 15, with 37 heartbeats per minute and weighing 29 kilos on a body of 1,64 m, Clara is hospitalized.
Produced by Petra Costa (THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY) and with an unsettling and electrifying soundtrack by David Lynch and Lykke Li, ÊXTASE is an immersive exploration of the agony and paradoxical pleasure of anorexia set against the backdrop of the chaotic political landscape of Brasil in the 1990s.
Both a deeply personal journey as well as a collective story of young women and their attempts to control the brutal world around them, director Moara Passoni, co-writer and associate producer on the Oscar® nominated documentary THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY, puts fiction, delirium and reality in a conflicting symbiotic relation.
FESTIVALS AND ACCOLADES
Prix D’Innovation Daniel Langlois > Montréal Festival of New Cinema
Youngsters 16 + Award / Best Film > Lucas International Festival of Films for Children and Young People
Jury Award of the Brazilian Cinema Critics Association > São Paulo International Film Festival
Prix of the Portuguese Association of Authors > Porto/Post/Doc Film & Media Festival
CPH:DOX Main Competition > CPH:DOX
Best Film Unipol Award International Competition > Biografilm Festival
Discovery Award > International Women's Film Festival Seoul
(2020, South Korea)
Audience Award > Millennium Docs Against Gravity
TVP Kultura Award > Millennium Docs Against Gravity
Louve D’Or > Montréal Festival of New Cinema
New Directors Competition > São Paulo International Film Festival
Up & Coming Competition > This Human World
Aurora Awards > TIFF- Tromso International Film Festival
Visions du Réel
Semana del Documental > Doc Montevideo
Mostra > Mostra Doc SP
IFF Pacific Meridian > Vladivostok
Doc Fortnight > Museum of Modern Art - MoMA
WHAT THE PRESS IS SAYING
Astonishing. Startingly unusual coming-of-age story
FILMMAKER MAGAZINE (US)
SCREEN DAILY (UK)
Vital encroachment between documentary and fiction
Passoni was inspired by the works of Marguerite Duras. She has the same passionate intensity
An excellent example of how the extremely personal can hold universal insight
EYE FOR FILM (UK)
Squashing rebellion from both the inside and out
FILMMAKER MAGAZINE (US)
It listens, delicately, to a poetic whisper that interacts between the various stages of the character's growth
WALL STREET INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE (UK)
Passoni has made quite a mark on the filmmaking landscape
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (US)
A look at the architecture, power and politics of the body
VISIONS DU RÉEL: MOARA PASSONI (PT)
Delicate and personal
MARIE CLAIRE (BR)
The intelligence that supports the anorexic body, an extreme complexity that Ecstasy (Êxtase) fully manages to communicate, to return to the viewer who questions himself, without judging and without ever thinking about illness, because illness is not the point
The universal character of the anxieties and experiences of women inserted in patriarchal systems, which manifest themselves in different ways in each one of us.
PERSONA CULTURAL CRITICISM (BR)
A sumptuous, multi-faceted feast for the eyes.
Passoni has enlightened us all.
One of the year’s most daring hybrid titles.
Passoni is truly a radical, visionary filmmaker.
Poetically written and gorgeously executed. Built on power and subtle emotion, this piece sits on a throne of its own.
A true marvel among marvels.
This is a film that will make you see not an intellectual truth but the much more powerful emotional one.
'Extase' blew me away.
One of the festival’s biggest discoveries.
Gorgeously thoughtful and experiential rumination on one woman’s battle with anorexia.
Flawless. (...) The geometry of hunger.
The silent nightmare of anorexia is straightforwardly portrayed and not sensationalized
VISION DU REEL : Moara Passoni with Tereza Vieira for Antena 3 (Portuguese)
SEMANA DEL DOCUMENTAL DOC MONTEVIDEO : A conversation with Moara Passoni (Spanish)
DOC MONTEVIDEO: Q&A Moara Passoni and Fernando Epstein (Spanish)
FESTIVAL DU NOUVEAU CINEMA: Q&A Moara Passoni and Maxime Labrecque (English)
DOC SP: Q&A with Moara Passoni and Janice D’Ávila (Portuguese)
Moara Passoni co-wrote and associate produced the Academy Awards Nominee and Platino and Peabody Winner documentary THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY (Netflix Originals, Sundance Film Festival) for which she was nominated for best narrative for both Critic Choices Awards Documentary Awards and International Documentary Association. ÊXTASE is her first non-fiction feature film that premiered in the main competition of CPH:DOX 2020, receiving fabulous critiques.
Alumni from the L’atelier de Production de La Fémis/Cannes, Moara graduated in Sociology, Anthropology and Political Sciences (USP-SP); studied Dance and Performance (PUC-SP) and Aesthetics (Paris 8). After finishing a Master in Documentary Theory (UNICAMP-SP) she joined an MFA program on screenwriting/ directing at Columbia University where she is a current candidate.
Filmmaker Magazine named her one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film" of 2020.
"Brazil, late 80’s, early ’90s.
A 15 year-old girl runs until she falls.
The story begins here - and will return to it again and again, as she tries to recount why, at some moment in her life, she fell into anorexia, and struggles to free herself from it.
The young woman is Clara, who we follow from the age of 7 to 17 and beyond. Clara was inspired by my own experience of anorexia."
ÊXTASE, 2020 (CPH:DOX)
Writer / Director / Producer
THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY, 2019 (Sundance / Netflix)
Co-Writer / Associate Producer
FRANCESCA, 2017 (Harvard Film Festival, Brooklyn Women’s Film Festival)
Writer / Director / Producer
OLMO & THE SEAGULL, 2015 (Locarno)
Script collaborator / Associate Producer
ELENA, 2012 (IDFA)
TILDEN’S DREAM, 2008 (É Tudo Verdade/ It's All True)
Director / Writer / Producer
Edital ANCINE - Prodecine 05 - Inovação de Linguagem (Brazil)
Êxtase participated in the DocSP Editing Lab (Brazil) with Niels Pag Andersen  who selected the film with Trieste International Film Festival to be part of the Last Stop Trieste/When East Meets West  (Italy), and was invited to participate in the IFP WEEK - Spotlight on Documentary (US) 
© 2021 ÊXTASE FILME