The case of June and Jennifer Gibbons has fascinated people for years – twin sisters in Wales who refused to speak to anyone but each other. Locked into their own world, they used art to communicate with other people and each other. Both prolific writers, it’s those stories and their artwork that is bringing their story to the big screen. But it may be that artwork that actually makes the movie a hard sell for a lot of viewers.
The Gibbons sister’s case, and treatment is one of the first documented cases of mental health issues in Black populations. And even then, it’s such a unique case overall. The sisters refused to talk to anyone else but were fully capable of speaking. There was one twin that seemed to be in control or more dominant but there was no real reason for their silence – or some of the things they did later. And that’s probably why their stories are so interesting. But how does this translate to the big screen?
Focus Features brings the Gibbons sister’s story to the screen in their own words or by using parts of their own stories and artwork to tell their side of the story. This portrayal isn’t complete though, since their story isn’t completely over yet. It does give viewers a look into their world, however, even if it still isn’t a world that we were meant to understand.
Most of the stories are presented using stop animation style puppets that the girls depicted in their stories or similarly created during their lives. Other parts of their lives are portrayed on the screen and may lack some truth for entertainment value. But the overall presentation of their story in a movie that hops between reality, stop motion and a nonsensical world might make the movie a bit harder to enjoy and won’t give viewers what they’re expecting when they come to see their story portrayed on the big screen.
This doesn’t make the Gibbons Sister’s case any less interesting, but the telling of their story using their own art and words may make little sense to most people – much like their case does in general. With any hopes, the movie will spark more of an interest in their story and similar cases in the mental health world.
The Silent Twins is now in theaters.
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About The Silent Twins
THE SILENT TWINS is the astounding true story of twin sisters who only communicated with one another. As a result, they created a rich, fascinating world to escape the reality of their own lives. Based on the best-selling book The Silent Twins, the film stars Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance.