Sina Richardt as Anna Bamberg, young
Julia Koopmans as Lotte Bamberg, young
Thekla Reuten as Young Lotte
Nadja Uhl as Young Anna
Ellen Vogel as Old Lotte
Gudrun Okras as Old Anna
Betty Schuurman as Mother Rockanje
Jaap Spijkers as Father Rockanje
Roman Knizka as Martin
Margarita Broich as Martha
Ingo Naujoks as Uncle Heinrich Bamberg
Barbara Auer as Charlotte
Jeroen Spitzenberger as David
Hans Somers as Bram
Hans Trentelman as Mr. De Vries
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 118 Minutes
This film was originally released in 2002 in the Netherlands under the name “De Tweeling”. The following is the description from the DVD cover:
“Nominated for an Academy Award® (Best Foreign Language Film, 2003), Twin Sisters (De Tweeling) is the emotional and provocative story that tells the tale of two sisters who must come to terms with their fate amid the heat of World War II. Lotte and Anna become orphans by the age of six. One is sent to live a life of privilege with wealthy relatives in the Netherlands, while the other stays in Germany to face a harsh existence on her uncle’s farm. When they reconnect years later, they not only discover that their lives have taken drastically different paths but, following Germany’s invasion of Holland, they find themselves pitted on opposite sides of the war. Powerful and thought provoking, this award-winning motion picture earned worldwide critical acclaim!”
Twin Sisters is rated R for brief sexuality and a scene of violence.
The fact that this movie is based on a true story makes it a bit more interesting than it would have been otherwise. If not for that, it might seem too preposterous to be realistic. The first part of the film where the girls are tragically separated seems like a bad Brothers Grimm fairytale. One girl goes to a life of wealth and prosperity while to other goes to a life of hard work and abuse from her guardians. The second portion of the film is quite dramatic as one girl grows up as a Nazi sympathizer while her sister becomes engaged to a Jew. Again, the idea seems more like soap opera fare than something that might have really happened. The last portion of the film shows the sisters trying to reconcile as elderly adults. The women confronting their past demons seems like a Lifetime movie of the week. If not for the fact that it was based on true events, I would have recommended writing this movie off.
Twin Sisters is a great looking film. It transitions between settings throughout the 1900’s and it looks convincing each time. The movie seems to have been done on a relatively low budget, but they got a lot out of the money they used. The story is also intriguing because it depicts WWII from the perspective of the innocent bystanders in Europe. You see how the non-combatants fared and how they were all affected by the events. It’s also interesting to see it unfold from the point of view of the women. I can’t think of many films that have featured the wives of German soldiers.
If you’re into WWII dramas or if you’re a fan of dramas aimed at women, then I think Twin Sisters is a film that’s right up your alley.
There are no bonus features included on this DVD.
The Bottom Line:
Despite being a bit melodramatic, Twin Sisters ends up being quite interesting because it is based on true events. It’s aimed more at female audiences, but it’s still an intriguing tale.