Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Twinsters: Divided at Birth, United by the Internet
sounds like a jokey internet meme, but twins separated at birth is clearly a more
frequent phenomenon than we might have previously assumed. Thanks to the
internet, we now know better. That is how Samantha Futerman was introduced to
her twin, Anaïs Bordier, currently residing in London. Recognizing the value of
her story for other adoptees, Futerman and co-director-cinematographer Ryan
Miyamoto documented the twins’ getting-to-know-you process and their eventual
search for their Korean birth mother in Twinsters
opens tomorrow in New York.
acting career was going comparatively well, all things considered, but Bordier’s
friend actually saw her in a web video rather than 21 & Over or The Big C.
Needless to say, he found the resemblance uncanny. Soon, the two suspected
twins are skyping and compulsively texting each other. Neither of their
adoption records mentions any siblings, yet there are similar inconsistencies
in their files that only encourage their suspicions.
would probably be spoilery to reveal the outcome of the DNA testing, but the
fact that it happens midway through the film should give you a clue, as should
the film’s very existence. Despite Bordier’s initial reluctance, they will
indeed travel back to Korea (which really ought to cinch it for you). It is
there the film really kicks in emotionally when they meet the two very giving
women who served as their foster mothers before adoption.
is good that the film has those moments, because it needs more of that sort of lift.
Twinsters arrives in theaters roughly
nine months after the PBS broadcast of Mona Friis Bertheussen’s Twin Sisters, which is much more
engaging, because its subjects are younger and still coming to grips with who
they are and how they perceive the world. They are really nice kids, whereas
the “Twinsters” are grown adults, whose discovery of each other isn’t so very
dramatic. As a result, the later film suffers in comparison.
Still, their encounters in Korea are quite
touching. The film finally gives foster mothers some of their just due, which
is a good thing. Nevertheless, the first two acts have a lot of texting and not
a lot of heft. There is a built in sibling audience for the well intentioned
and reasonably pleasant Twinster, but
they will find Twin Sisters more rewarding.
For adoptees who relate, Twinsters opens
tomorrow (7/17) in New York, at the AMC Empire.