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1920s Germany. Two Sisters aged six years, no sooner see their remaining parent buried when they are torn apart. Lotte goes to live with her upper middle class Dutch aunt in Holland, Anna to work as a farm hand on her German uncle's rural farm. The story follows their lives as they try to reconcile their differences while World War II impacts each of them on their lives and finally in old age when they meet again, with the hope that the differences in their youth can finally be reconciled. Written by
Apparently "De Tweeling" or "The Twins" has been based on a very popular Dutch novel. I'm not able to compare the movie with the book, because I haven't read it yet, but I can and will tell you something about this movie and how I feel about it.
The movie starts in the 1920's when, after the death of their parents, the two twin sisters are separated at the age of six. One of them will stay in Germany where she'll have to work hard on her uncle's farm, the other sister will live with her upper middle class Dutch aunt and uncle in Holland. For many years the girls try to contact each other but both families are able to intercept their letters and to make them believe that the other sister is dead. While they both grow older and the Second World War affects their lives in a very profound way, both try to renew their bond several times, but fail time after time because of different reasons. Only at the end of their lives, they are able to forgive and forget...
Even though the movie has its weaker moments, overall this is some very nice and touching cinema. Especially the beginning and the end of the movie are hard to forget. And even though I'm not Dutch myself (I'm from their 'little neighbor' in the South), I could easily recognize the feelings between the Germans and the Dutch. I don't know if anybody has his or her doubts about that, but the movie exactly shows it as it was during those days (not that I experienced it myself, I was born more than 30 years after the war).
If you are looking for an alternative war movie, than this is certainly something for you. By alternative I mean that you won't see any soldiers fighting or bombs exploding, but you'll get an idea of how life was for the civilians who had to try to survive during the German occupation. Another reason why I call it alternative is because the movie does not only cover the small time period of 1938-1944, the period in which Europe was in the war. It tells the story between the 1920's and the present day.
What might be a bit confusing from time to time is the fact that the actors constantly switch between German and Dutch (especially at the end of the movie). Of course, when you don't understand anything of both languages and have to read the subtitles, you won't even notice. But anyway, I must congratulate the Dutch with this movie (as a Belgian this hurts a bit, hahaha). With this one, they have a nice movie they can be proud of. I give it a 7.5/10.
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