Danielle (Rachel Sennott) and Max (Danny Deferrari) have just finished having sex, after which the young woman asks her lover for support—he’s older and well off, after all, while she’s a student with no money. We then move on to a Jewish shiva: during the event, which is the equivalent of a wake, the gathered guests—with her parents taking the lead—offer unsolicited advice concerning her difficult situation, emphasizing her lack of a job, relationship, and emotional stability. Danielle also has a hard time dealing with comparisons with one of her childhood friends (Molly Gordon). As if that weren’t enough, Max shows up at the shiva in the company of his beautiful and successful wife, who has a baby in her arms. The atmosphere thickens, and the more awkward the situation becomes, the more laughter it causes. In her brilliant debut, Emma Seligman draws freely on the best traditions of American comedy by the likes of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman. She focuses, however, on the point of view of a young, liberated woman—though one who is also clearly lost.
Emma Seligman is a Canadian director with a professional connection to New York. She studied film studies at New York University, where she made her first short films: Void (2017) and her graduation film Shiva Baby (2018), which premiered at the South by Southwest festival. The latter was the starting point for Seligman’s full-length debut, which premiered in her hometown at the Toronto Film Festival. Since then, it has also been shown at festivals in Melbourne, Los Angeles, and now in Wrocław.
2016 Void (short)
2018 Shiva Baby (short)
2020 Shiva Baby