SXSW Review: TWINSTERS

By Laurie Coker

Rating: A

Twinsters premiered at SXSW this year and I happened on it almost accidently. It is a heart-warming looks at twins, separated at birth and reunited years later. Co-director  (with Ryan Miyamoto’s)and documentarian Samantha Futerman raised money via Kickstarter, so she could make and bring her film, her own personal story to South By – an irresistible story that puts a spark in any heart. 

The story follows Samantha and Anaïs Bordier. Adopted in the late 1980’s from South Korea, raised on different continents & connected through social media, the pair is convinced they are twin sisters separated at birth and raised on different continents. One became an American actress the other a French fashion designer, and when Samantha in the U.S. received a facebook message from Ansïs in France, their lives would change forever.

Anaïs and her friends notice a resemblance right away when she first found pictures of Samanths and with the help of social media the young women meet. It is a joyful journey of culture, connection and caring and Futerman tells it well. They text, Skype and share video as they grow to know each other. It’s easy to fall in love with this excursion and to get to know these special women. They learn about where they came from, how they got where they are and learned about the love and strength of twins.

Also on show here is the adoption process and what it means to be orphaned and put into the system. We are privy to their online conversations in video clips, their Skype calls and in real-time footage as they learn about each other and finally meet. Not only do the girls connect, but they go back to Korea to learn about their culture. It is indeed a story of discovery in more ways than one.

I truly enjoyed Twinsters and am placing an A in my grade book. It is a delightful documentary, not bleak like so many are. There tale is one that could apply to thousands of children adopted out of Korea around the same time, but they happen to be twins. Anaïs and Samantha’s story is one of family, cultures and connects beyond those typical and it highlights the power of social media today.

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