Lost Girls

Director: Liz Garbus
Screenwriters: Michael Werwie

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


Based on Robert Kolker’s 2013 true-crime novel of the same title, Lost Girls is a searing look at a mother’s relentless fight for justice against the system that failed her. After her eldest daughter, Shannan, goes missing in an affluent Long Island neighborhood, Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan) demands answers. She discovers Shannan was part of an online world of sex workers, composed mostly of young women from rough, working-class backgrounds. As Mari puts pressure on an indifferent and sometimes hostile police force that would rather blame Shannan and “girls like her” than find them, she decides to take matters into her own hands, revealing more cases like Shannan’s.

Documentarian Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?, 2015 Sundance Film Festival) returns to the Festival with her first narrative feature, turning her investigative eye toward an American mystery rooted in inequality and injustice. Anchored by Amy Ryan’s commanding performance, Lost Girls steadfastly digs up the dark side of the American psyche, revealing the forgotten voices underneath.

Closed captioning and audio description are available for this film.

— A.D.

Screening Details

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