In Clara’s life, the personal and political are intertwined. She lives with her parents in the poor outskirts of São Paulo that are being taken over by organized crime. As her mother becomes an important congresswoman in Brasilia, her family moves to the Federal District. There as Clara feels her mother’s life is increasingly imperiled, 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.