6.9/10
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24 user 24 critic

Sister My Sister (1994)

Two sisters separated in childhood reunite years later as servants at a household in France. Their happiness to be reunited spirals into an incestuous relationship.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Sophie Thursfield ...
Isabelle Danzard
Amelda Brown ...
Visitor
Lucita Pope ...
Visitor
...
Sister Veronica
Aimee Schmidt ...
Young Lea
Gabriella Schmidt ...
Young Christine
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Storyline

This all-woman production is set in provincial France in the early 1930's. Two young, country sisters enter domestic service in the bourgeois household of a penurious widow and her homely daughter. Neither pair speaks to the other: two sets of women separated and confined by social convention, personality, and the house itself. The relationship of the sisters slowly evolves into obsession, brought about by isolation and by emotions left from childhood. Trapped in a garret room, the sisters' violent downstairs-upstairs collision with Madame Danzard and the lumpy Isabelle seems certain. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and a brutal murder sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 July 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entre Elas  »

Box Office

Gross:

$217,881 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the play "My Sister In This House", by Wendy Kesselman, which is loosely based on the true story of the Papin Sisters. See more »

Connections

Version of Murderous Maids (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleep My Little Sister, Sleep
music and lyrics by Wendy Kesselman
performed by Joely Richardson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For Chabrol fans and action movie lovers with insomnia
5 May 2005 | by (Zagreb, Croatia) – See all my reviews

Long, long time ago people used to care what was happening to others. Today people just don't bother to think about anybody but themselves. Maybe it's because the populations is growing and communications bring whole world in our homes. We got used to big stuff. If it's an earthquake it must peak at least 8 on Richter scale. If a plane crashes it must be a 747. If a murder happens, only massacres or terrorist attacks reach the audience.

But there are still parts of world where people are not so used to big events, still live in their small local community and if something shatters it they still ask themselves - how could it have happened? 'Sister, My Sister' analyzes a crime, a murder that today wouldn't be heard of further than district or maybe a (smaller) state border. But back in 30's, more than for cruelty itself, people were shocked because of circumstances, it was committed where no one could expect it. Two girls raised by nuns, working for a respected family that never have complained, in fact was even proud how good servants they had, suddenly murdered mother and daughter they've been working for. Being a drama and not a crime movie, this film doesn't let us know something so drastically would happen till the very end. In ordinary crime movie we would see a murder scene in opening sequences and than some detective or forensic would investigate till, at the end of the movie, a whole puzzle could be revealed and a long flash-back would show us what preceded the crime. In this movie, however, we see everything grow, develop, boil in a pot with no valve to let any steam out. Four woman with hidden or undeveloped emotions fail to build any human relations. Mother and daughter just live under the same roof, in same room, but don't contact further than aristocratic rules permit. Daughter has nothing to do with servants, though she is a bit attracted to younger sister. Mother won't talk to them unless a special occasion occurs. Even when not pleased with their work she just shows with finger in a glove what has to be done better. In a great scene she talks to her daughter for a few minutes what should be done or corrected, not a single word addressed to servants who were standing next to her. Sisters, suffering from lack of love and emotions till early childhood, rejected first by mother, than by nuns, and having no chances to meet anyone in such environment, turned their emotions to each other crossing a line of sister's love. This relationship leads them to break the last connections with family, and hide in a shell of their room.

Three interesting, different characters in a hermetically closed hypocritical house. Nothing should be changed, such a world must stay calm for centuries, or otherwise it loses its position in its hypocritical community. The trouble is that four characters are credited, and one of them, Isabelle, the daughter, is a weak corner of a square. Nothing interesting, just a few scenes and lines, she is there like a piece of furniture. But, then, maybe it's not a failure in a script, but one more strong accusation against such a society. She was the only one born in the house. She had no chance to become different from a stylistic chair or a piece of expensive tea set. She had no chance to become a person. And that is the most terrible thing in forming of a human being. Children raised to be objects of an exhibition, praised by other same-type parents who expect praises for same-type children they have.

Lea and Christine had emotions deprived throughout their childhood. In this environment their emotions became free but uncontrolled, in a wrong but only possible way. In forbidden relations and in crime. Their emotions, as Paul Simon wrote, "echoed in the wells of silence". And this echo was too strong, again as all the years before. Mother didn't listen. Nuns turned their back. This echo committed the murder.

This is the best all-woman movie I've ever seen. Only one man I can think of is capable of doing this type of movies. If you like Chabrol, don't miss this one: his legacy lives. If you're an action-movie lover suffering from insomnia, buy this one instead of Valium. It's healthier. You won't get addicted.


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