Topside Unclassified 18+
A tense mother–daughter survival story that paints an empathetic picture of outsider life across the subways and streets of New York City.
In the eerie subterranean tunnels of New York’s abandoned subway system, five-year-old Little lives with her devoted but drug-using mother, who ekes out an existence among a small community of the city’s dispossessed. Driven ‘topside’ after the police sweep their underground dwelling, mother and daughter come face-to-face with life on the unforgiving winter streets as they desperately try to make their way home.
Making their feature debut after a series of acclaimed shorts – including the Short Film Palme d’Or–nominated Caroline (MIFF 2018) – co-directors Celine Held and Logan George have crafted a staunch and deeply sensitive portrait of the neglected lives on society’s fringes. This recipient of the Special Jury Recognition for Directing award at SXSW 2020 moves from the surreal trance of the urban catacombs to the nerve-jangling pulse of busy streets, and as Topside’s beating heart, newcomer Zhaila Farmer gives a performance of astonishing emotional nuance.
“Kinetic and riveting … A thoroughly cinematic experience, one that pulses with compassion, unease and, not least, straight-up action.” – Hollywood Reporter
Presented by The Monthly
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