Top of the Lake's emotional landscape: Reparation at the end of the world

Susannah Radstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This essay discusses the TV series Top of the Lake (Campion 2013) within the frameworks of theories of trauma and psychoanalytic object relations. The essay’s focus falls on the prominence given to the New Zealand landscape in the series and in reviews, and on Top of the Lake’s apparently paradoxical combining of a narrative concern with extreme violence and performances that evoke childlike playfulness. Having examined the possibility of categorising the series as a trauma text, the essay concludes by proposing that its formal and narrative elements combine to produce a spectatorial experience that evokes potential space while triggering reparative impulses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Arts: a south-north journal of cultural and media studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • landscape; potential space; reparation

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