Palm Trees and Power Lines

Director: Jamie Dack
Screenwriters: Jamie Dack, Audrey Findlay

Institute History

  • 2022 Sundance Film Festival


Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic
Increasingly dissociated from lazy, drunken hangouts and perfunctory hookups with her immature peers, bored, aimless 17-year-old Lea is intrigued by older-man Tom after he rescues her following a reluctant dine-and-dash at a local diner. Initially wary (he’s twice her age!), Lea finds that Tom’s focused attention fills a deep, unspoken need, and Lea’s investment in their relationship quickly supplants her already tenuous ties to her distracted single mom and loose-knit friend group. But Tom’s initial patience and willingness to let Lea take the lead gradually gives way to a dynamic in which his awareness of the power he holds is distressingly clear.
Writer-director Jamie Dack’s intimate feature debut, adapted from her 2018 short film, is an evocative depiction of the vulnerabilities of adolescence that feels utterly relatable at every step — even as Lea and Tom’s association is revealed as something altogether darker than an ill-advised, impetuous romance. Jonathan Tucker and newcomer Lily McInerny deliver subtly devastating intertwined performances, deftly balancing their characters’ internal states with how they need to be seen by each other.This film contains sexual content that some viewers may find disturbing.

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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