“The family has its origins in the misunderstanding, the non-encounter, the deception, the sexual abuse or the crime “. This Jacques-Alain Miller’s quote – that I took from Pascale Simonet’s beautiful text, published this week in Ombilic – grasps at the right moment what is at stake in the series I have just discovered and that I like to share with you. It is the second season of the drama series Top of the lake. Entitled China Girl, it begins with the discovery of the corpse of a young woman who, we quickly learn, was not only pregnant at the time of her death but was carrying a child for a surrogacy, making her a surrogate mother.
This detective series’ interest lies in my opinion less in the thrilling plot than in the way the investigation serves as a catalyst for the subjective issues of its heroine, Detective Robin Griffin. Since a painful romantic break-up she has been confronting the question of her femininity and her desire to be a mother. The desire to be a mother appears when making a new place in her life for the daughter she gave birth to 18 years earlier and then gave up for adoption given the traumatic and violent circumstances of her conception.
Top of the Lake: China Girl – which director Jane Campion compares to “something ovarian […] beyond feminism ” – also portrays several women who are grappling too with the question of motherhood, either from the angle of infertility and the impossible on which “wanting a child” stumbles, or through the prism of the mother-daughter ravage. It questions moreover what is at the foundation of a family, all the while being as close as possible to the contemporary issues raised by scientific advances in the field of procreation. This remarkable series meets the questions at the heart of the Pipol Congress which will bring us together in one week.
This antepenultimate edition of Ombilic, as you will see, is a display of fireworks! There will be more talk of TV series, but also of literature in the excellent contributions by Céline Aulit, Caroline Doucet, Marianne Gérard and Pascale Simonet. From the artistic field, you will then move on to the clinical field with Patricia Lombardi’s text.
Finally let’s give way to the video of the week! Dr Cristofaro de Stefano, gynaecologist and head of the department of physiopathology of reproduction and sterility at the San Giuseppe Moscati hospital in Avellino, has granted an interview to the psychoanalyst Alfonso Leo.
Have nice discoveries!
Translated by Peggy Papada
Photography: ©Véronique Servais
Miller J.-A., “ Mèrefemme “, La Cause du désir, n°89, 2015, p. 122. – extract from the lessons of 30 March and 6 April 1994 of the lesson « L’orientation lacanienne. Donc ».
 Miller J.-A., « Affaires de famille dans l’inconscient », La Lettre mensuelle, n°250, 2006, p. 9.
 Cf. Director Jane Campion’s interview with The New York Times on the release of the second season of her series Top of the lake: China Girl. Published on 12 September 2017. Available online: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/12/arts/television/top-of-the-lake-china-girl-jane-campion.html