Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria)
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very touching documentary. I will called it better "Pop" instead of "Twinsters".
- Twinsters is like poprocks: sweet, delicious, and surprising -
SPOILER ALERT: This review gives details of the movie that were hard to avoid while discussing the film!
Twinsters was the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon happy cry I didn't even realize I needed. It's the documentary equivalent of Poprocks: sweet, delicious, and surprising.
Watching it I laughed, I cried and I snuggled my body pillow just a little bit longer, the latter of which my roommates will confirm is a much-needed rarity for me.
Oh the serendipity of social media. Thanks to Facebook, I've reconnected with elementary school friends, learned about my distant cousin's cat, and discovered some blackmail worthy high school photos. For Sam Futerman and Anais Bordier, the serendipity of social media meant that they got to discover they were long lost twins separated at birth, across the pond of the Atlantic Ocean and the continental US.
After learning of her sister, Sam says, "When god closes a door, he opens a window." She then opens a window into the importance of sibling relationships. Growing up with two brothers, Sam is the much more extroverted twin. Anais, who grew up an only child, rates much higher in moodiness and describes her childhood as lonely, boring, and missing something. It's an interesting meditation on the diverse experiences of childhood and how those experiences influence personality.
The whole nature vs. nurture discovery process reminded me of the importance of family, and how that 'label' is very much self defined. I would consider many of my friends and roommates family. And I have some relatives who I would like to pretend inhabit a completely different planet.
This French American Seoul (get it? "Soul / Seoul"... oh how I love puns...) filled loved story comes full circle and traverses the globe as the two girls then journey to where their story begins. That adventure was one of the more moving parts of the film. It caused tears to flood my eyes.
The emotion and emoticon filled documentary, is a delightful, moving reminder that family is what you make it, and that thanks to technology we can go beyond Facebook poking, to literally reaching out and poking people in real life. At one point, Sam questions if it is crazy to unconditionally love someone you've never met. If so, I'm definitely crazy for falling in love with Sam and Anais and their journey of twin discovery.
This review was first published on Narrative Muse, http://www.narrativemuse.co/movies/twinsters, and was written Jennifer Halweil. Narrative Muse curates the best books and movies by and about women and non-binary folk on our website http://narrativemuse.co and our social media channels.
Fun, charming and moving documentary.
A charming and heartwarming documentary.
What a wonderful movie. Thank you both for sharing your story for all of us to watch unfold. It really touched me. ??
Great story. I hope there is a follow up on these two with how far they have come together.
Interesting, but not too suprising
The title "Twinsters" leaves little to the imagination. Anais, a French girl studying fashion in London, sees her mirror image in a YouTube video. A little IMDb digging tells her that Samantha, an LA-based actress, was also adopted from South Korea, and also born on the same day. The film that follows is the journey on Samantha's end, from Anais' introductory message to the transatlantic first meeting and second meeting, to their search for an explanation for being split up, and an eventual visit to their homeland.
The journey, for all one might expect, is surprisingly short on drama. Sam's nervousness in the minutes before Anais' arrival to their first meeting is palpable and telling, and we can see that the visit to South Korea holds a particular poignancy for Anais, but it is the hope and joy of newfound kinship that makes the film eminently watchable. The film's bread and butter are the skype videos, text messages, and intercut animations of their communications throughout the process, where you can bask in the youthful giddiness of these young women, and be utterly charmed as you watch in-jokes and short hand rapidly develop between them. In short, it's a hard film not to enjoy.
That being said, by documentary standards "Twinsters" is more than a little flighty, noting but never really indulging the interesting points of twin science or the emotional weight of adoption. What is left behind is just a travelogue, albeit weightier than most, of Sam's journey. That the American actress is the focus is somewhat necessary (she produces and co-directs), but also unfortunate. Unlike Sam, Anais was raised an only child, derided in school for being adopted, and became a more introverted, isolated person for it. The film makes clear that the separation and rediscovery are particularly emotional for her, and as happy as I was watching this film and these two women find each other, I was a little bit sad that so much of that side of the story was left untold.
Nothing feels good and emotionally satisfying than when you watch something that you are totally unprepared for, so true, powerful and beautifully humane. Twinsters, a documentary that is worth your time.
Well made, fascinating, and a story you couldn't really have made up. Touching and just demonstrates some of the positive sides of social media.