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
Anna goes to the Netherlands, not long after the war, and asks someone for help how to find her sister's address. The information is denied because Anna speaks German. In the novel there is an incident on a streetcar: a kind man offers Anna a seat and becomes angry if Anna thanks him in German. Of course the streetcar incident was harder to do in a movie: it required a postwar streetcar and many people in postwar clothing. See more »
The BM sailing boat used by Lotte and David has sails with transparent plastic windows. These did not exist before the war. See more »
Twin Sisters is a truly excellent film detailing how social and war experiences influence lives and drive people apart. It is a vein in Dutch film making which has already resulted in other critically acclaimed films like The Assault (1985). The central premise of separated twins growing up under different circumstances in different social circles has been explored in literature before, for example in the novel "Kronprinsarna" (1972) by Swedish author Lars Ardelius, but the novel "Twins" (1993) by Tessa de Loo has the added element of the Second World War and all the suffering that it entailed. The film follows the novel quite closely which has resulted in a richly layered drama in which nothing is as black and white as history may make us believe. The SS-officer is a reluctant soldier and a loving husband, while the culture-loving Dutchman hiding Jews in his house is a reluctant hero and a petty man. Through the eyes of the twin sisters we are able to appreciate the war experience of German and Dutch people and understand how it drove people apart and how hard it was for them to reconcile. The attempts of the German sister to reach out to her twin even at a very advanced age make for some very moving drama that will leave no one indifferent.
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