SXSW Film Review: Twinsters (USA, France, South Korea & UK, 2015)

twinsters iris

Two young women from two continents live apart for a quarter of a century. Twinsters is the story of these two identical twin sisters who were separated at birth, adopted by different families and their subsequent reunion. This documentary is heart-warming, emotional and unique.

In February 2013 LA-based actress, Sam Futerman received an odd Facebook message. It was from aspiring designer, Anaïs Bordier who had lived in Belgium and France and was now living in London. The latter had seen a YouTube video that Futerman had appeared in as well as a picture of a movie poster for an upcoming film the actress was in. Their physical similarity was uncanny and through some powerful Google research, Bordier decided to reach out to the girl that looked so much like her.

The pair would eventually Skype for three hours and share lots of laughs as they realised the other girl shared the same mannerisms and tastes as her. The two went back to their respective adoption agencies and completed a DNA test, which proved they were identical twins. They also took part in a twin study that was being run by Dr. Nancy Segal. Twinsters also followed the sisters’ initial meeting in London, their reunion in LA and their first trip back to their birth country, South Korea.

The film marks the directorial debuts of Futerman and cinematographer, Ryan Miyamoto. It is a promising and feel-good documentary that shows the power of family and the role of nature versus nurture. The two ladies seem to have quite effervescent personalities and are warm and natural on screen. The main negative is that there are some extended sequences that are filled with in-jokes and laughter, where some more explanation or dialogue would have proved more interesting and enlightening. Some more airtime could also have been dedicated to their respective back stories and information about the ladies in order to give a more comprehensive picture.

Twinsters is a real-life Parent Trap and bizarre tale that seems stranger than fiction. It’s an interesting and unusual story that will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. These two adorable girls finally found each other and Twinsters is the poignant and pleasant document of this, which is guaranteed to make you smile.

Review Score: THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Twinsters premiered at SXSW over the weekend – it screens again on March 16th and 19th. For more information and tickets please visit: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_FS17867