The Silent Twins
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Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance are spellbinding in the powerful true story of two siblings whom society gave up on.
Ever since childhood, June and Jennifer Gibbons have shared an uncommonly close bond. Their intimacy allowed them to create a world far removed from the one they lived in. It was a defence against the bullying they were subjected to at school, and the failure of parents, teachers and carers to understand them. By the time they descend into petty crime, they are regarded as psychologically damaged and sent to the high-security confines of Broadmoor Hospital. It’s there, some years later, that Sunday Times journalist Majorie Wallace (Jodhi May) encounters them, recognises the injustice of their incarceration and embarks on a campaign to secure their release.
Letitia Wright (Black Panther) and Tamara Lawrance (Kindred) are spellbinding as the Gibbons sisters. (The siblings are played in their youth by the equally impressive Leah Mondesir-Simmonds and Eva-Arianna Baxter) They convey the otherworldliness of the women – their sense of detachment from society – but also the depth of their connection to each other. Had The Silent Twins been filmed conventionally, it would have made for a searing personal drama. But director Agnieszka Smoczynska, working with Andrea Seigel’s adaptation of Wallace’s book, runs wild with her representation of the Gibbons’ inner lives. Their fantastic impressions of the world around them contrast with that world as it is, adding further depth to this desperately moving film.