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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.

Director:

Nancy Meckler

Writers:

Wendy Kesselman (play), Wendy Kesselman (screenplay)
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julie Walters ... Madame Danzard
Joely Richardson ... Christine Papin
Jodhi May ... Lea Papin
Sophie Thursfield Sophie Thursfield ... Isabelle Danzard
Amelda Brown Amelda Brown ... Visitor
Lucita Pope Lucita Pope ... Visitor
Kate Gartside ... Sister Veronica
Aimee Schmidt Aimee Schmidt ... Young Lea
Gabriella Schmidt 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 July 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Entre Elas See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$217,881
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 En quête des soeurs Papin (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

La Vie Parisienne
Overture - Jacques Offenbach
by kind permission of Parry Music
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User Reviews

 
"Dense, dramatic and mystic..."
18 February 2013 | by Sindre KaspersenSee all my reviews

American theater and film director Nancy Meckler's feature film debut which was written by American playwright Wendy Kesselman, is based on her play "My Sister In This House" from 1981 and the Papin murder case which took place in Le Mans, France in 1933. It was shot at Pinewood Studios in England and is a United Kingdom production which was produced by English producer Norma Hayman. It tells the story about a 21-year-old woman named Léa Papin who is reunited with her 26-year-old sister Christine after moving out of her mother's home and getting a job as a live-in maid for an aristocratic woman named Madame Danzard. Léa and Christine goes to church every Sunday, works all day long cooking, cleaning and serving their landlord and her daughter Isabelle and sticks together in their spare time, but as time goes by Madame Danzard begins noticing changes in their behavior.

Finely and precisely directed by American filmmaker Nancy Meckler, this finely tuned and somewhat fictionalized tale which is narrated mostly from the two main characters viewpoints, draws a rare portrayal of two dutiful sisters who's close attachment escalates when the younger sister starts making intimate approaches towards her elder sister. While notable for it's naturalistic and mostly interior milieu depictions, fine production design by English production designer Caroline Amies, cinematography by English cinematographer Ashley Rowe and costume design by costume designer Lindy Hemming, this dialog-driven and narrative-driven period piece which examines themes like class distinctions, prejudice, social and sexual repression and crime depicts two interrelated studies of character and contains an efficient instrumental score by English composer Stephen Warbeck.

This graphic psychological drama and both heartrending and malicious love-story which is based on real events about two subordinate and suppressed women who whilst living under the command of a rigid and pedantic middle-aged woman crosses a consequential line when they initiate an incestuous relationship, is set in France in the early 20th century and is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, enigmatic atmosphere, variegated characters and the wholehearted acting performances by English actresses Joely Richardson, Jodhi May, Julie Walters and Sophie Thursfield. A dense, dramatic and mystic indie from the early 1990s which gained, among other awards, the award for Best New Director Nancy Meckler and Best Actress Joely Richardson and Jodhi May at the 39th Valladolid International Film Festival in 1994.


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