June 6, 2017

Twinsters: When You Spot a Facebook Lookalike That Is Your Long-Lost Twin

Twins who get separated at birth only to meet in life later on... Shakespeare used it twice in his Comedy of Errors. The TV scifi series Orphan Black took it even further with countless cloned-tuplets. But what about if this happened (on a more modest scale) in real life? Can you imagine the shock and delight that would come with finding out you had an identical sibling? Because that's the story at the center of Twinsters, a documentary that traces the reunion and quickly fostered relationship between Samantha Futerman, an actress in Hollywood, and Anaïs Bordier, an aspiring fashion-designer living in London. A chance discovery by Anais' friend of a comic viral video by Samantha's friend leads the two to Skype, meet abroad, bond, then eventually head back to South Korea in search of their foster mothers. (Their birth mother sadly denies her role in their very existence.)

Like most identical twins, sometimes these two look incredibly alike; sometimes, markedly less so. One's taller (Anais); one's livelier (Sam). One speaks French (Anais); one skateboards (Sam). But despite any cultural disconnects, they genuinely seem to click with each other almost immediately, developing a signature "pop" sound as a playful way of greeting and displaying a physical intimacy that feels like it has roots that go back for years. This is a doc with a lot of heart and the affection isn't just between the two young women but also through their very different families, their individual circles of friends, even co-workers. Suddenly, each of the women has extended their families that cross an ocean. Actually, make that two oceans, for the sisters seem to find yet another homeland when they take a joint trip to South Korea for a conference for adult adoptees originally from that country. How lucky for us that Sam wisely thought to put this all on videotape from their very first Facebook conversation. There's also a book version co-authored by the sisters entitled Separated @ Birth but the movie is more than enough.

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