The Silent Twins – Film Sheet

In her third film, Agnieszka Smoczyńska effectively immerses the viewer in the colorful and creative world of bullied twin sisters, John and Jennifer Gibbons, who only speak to each other.

in Silent twins By Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska we see the fundamental duality with which people can unite in themselves. Smoczyńska’s third film, her first English-language work, shows the true story of June and Jennifer Gibbons.

The twin sisters grew up in a small town in Wales in the 1960s, as children of the “Gill Windrush” who immigrated from Barbados. As the only black kids in the area, the young girls (played by Leah Mondesir Simmonds and Eva Ariana Baxter) are relentlessly bullied and withdrawn more and more. They gradually stop communicating with the outside world and only speak to each other in the language they created together.

A world of colorful creativity arises among the sisters, which is expressed in poetry and prose, among other things. But the outside world can do little with young women now (played by Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence). When unmodified behavior turns into a petty crime, they are locked up in the notorious Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital.

Smoczyńska regularly immerses the viewer into the twins’ imaginary inner world, complete with music and colorful animation (created by Barbara Rubik), based on stories and poems written by the sisters. The soundtrack, which alternates songs from the 70s and 80s with songs composed for the movie by Zuzanna Wrońska based on lyrics written by the sisters, traverses this special world. But that doesn’t last long – editor Agnieszka Glińska relentlessly backs away from the cold, gray outside world.

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Silent twins Not an accessible movie. But this fits the story of two women who have so much to say through their art, yet refuse to speak – except for each other.

It also fits seamlessly into the work of Smoczyńska, who in her earlier films has always explored the role and inappropriate place of women in a patriarchal society: through carnivorous mermaids in temptation (2015) and through a woman who is alienated from the role society imposes on her fugue (2018). in Silent twins Smoczynska tries to put John and Jennifer into a world they didn’t understand. Through the impressive acting performances of Wright and Lawrence, conceived by the sisters with deep interest and respect, they are given the status they have always deserved: that of artist with a private view of the world, which this world sometimes has so little regard. can learn.


Silent twins Viewed from May 15, 2023 via Pathé Thuis (VoD).

Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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