Netflix's 'Lost Girls' Is About Believing Women, Director Says

John Russell
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Shannan Gilbert is missing. And so, for that matter, are a number of other young women in the New York City suburbs on Long Island in Netflix's Lost Girls.

As Shannan's worried mother, Mari (Amy Ryan, The Wire), sets out to learn what happened, her relentless pressure on the police and its commissioner (Gabriel Byrne) leads to the discovery of several dead prostitutes — and the hunt for a serial killer. 

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"This film is about believing women,"says director Liz Garbus. "These families are told there's nothing the police can do and the disappearances are virtually ignored because the women made money as sex workers."

Based on investigative journalist Robert Kolker's bestselling 2013 nonfiction book about the still-unsolved murders committed by the so-called Gilgo Beach Killer, Lost Girls zeroes in on Mari as she unites the victims' loved ones (including one played by Mozart in the Jungle's Lola Kirke) to try to ensure that their sisters and daughters aren't forgotten. 

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(Credit: Netflix)

"Mari is a real American woman — one we don't often see depicted in films," says Garbus, who spent time with Gilbert and visited the area where the bodies were found. "I wanted you to come to love Mari because you empathize with her struggles and admire her strength, not because she's sweet or easy to connect with. She earns your respect."

Lost Girls, Movie Premiere, Friday, March 13, Netflix