Top of the Lake

Director: Jane Campion, Garth Davis
Screenwriters: Jane Campion, Gerard Lee

Institute History

  • 2013 Sundance Film Festival


Twenty-three years after screening her first feature, Sweetie, in Park City, Jane Campion returns to the Sundance Film Festival with Top of the Lake, a chilling six-hour saga about a detective tasked with uncovering hidden secrets in a tiny New Zealand town. When Tui Mitcham, the pregnant 15-year-old daughter of a local drug king, refuses to reveal the identity of her child’s father and tries to drown herself in the freezing waters of Lake Top, Robin Griffin, a tenacious detective specializing in juveniles, is brought in to handle the case. But when Tui suddenly disappears, Robin embarks on a search that forces her to dissect not only the tangled drama of Lake Top’s town folk, but also her own convoluted past.

Transporting us to the hauntingly beautiful, isolated mountains of New Zealand, Campion’s riveting series captures the silent despair plaguing a secluded town and tells an astonishing tale of rediscovered identities and the limits of the human condition.

— T. B.

Screening Details

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