Twin Sisters

( Norway / 2013 )
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In 2003, two babies were found in a cardboard box in a Chinese village and adopted to two different corners of the world. One child went to a little village in Norway, while the other went to a capital city in the USA. The adoptive parents had no idea that their daughter had a twin, since their sisterhood was meant to be kept a secret. However, destiny has other plans...The film tells the remarkable story of the twin sisters through a parallel journey, until they meet again in Norway when they are 8 years old. Twin Sisters is a powerful human story about sibling love, human dilemma and the game of fate.
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Formats: Digital Copy, DVD
Running Time: 58 min.
Theme: Children, Family, Society, Youth
Language(s): English, Norwegian
Subtitles: English
Director(s): Mona Friis Bertheussen
Producer(s): Mona Friis Bertheussen
Cinematographer: Hallgrim Haug
Editor(s): Erik Andersson, Mona see all »
Excluded regions: Norway, China, United see all »
Twin Sisters

awards & accolades

  • Monte Carlo International Television Festival, Monaco - Golden Nymph Award for Best Documentary Film
  • Norwegian Documentary Film Festival, Norway - Best Documentary Film Award & Best Director Award
  • Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden - Dragon Award for Best Feature Film & Audience Award
  • International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Netherlands - Audience Award

Festival participation

  • Monte Carlo International Television Festival, Monaco 2014
  • Norwegian Documentary Film Festival, Norway 2014
  • Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden 2014
  • International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Netherlands 2013

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Additional Info

Production Company: Moment Film
Distribution Company: Films Transit

  • Interview: Twin Sisters

    In her mid-length competition film Twin Sisters, Norwegian director Mona Friis Bertheussen chronicles the lives of identical Chinese twins Alexandra and Mia, abandoned at birth and separated a matter of weeks later when adopted by Norwegian and US families.

    Alexandra grows up in the village of Fresvik (population 234) located in the bucolic Norwegian countryside. Mia, meanwhile, goes to the bustling and industrial US city of Sacramento. They were never denied information about their familial ties, and the girls communicate regularly by letter and telephone. In Bertheussen’s film, however, the time has come for them to be re-united after eight years of separation.

    Alexandra’s life in Norway seems uncomplicated. She roams the countryside unaccompanied, tends to the family horse and looks after mice that she finds in the family barn. This means that she has more time to think and talk about a sister whose life in the US is altogether more cluttered, defined by sleepovers and soccer practice. What’s more, Mia is not allowed out on her own in Sacramento, such is her parents’ concerns about her safety.

    “Both of the girls are very bright and smart, and have strong characters, but I think their personalities may be a strong reflection of the society in which they live,” comment Bertheussen. “Alexandra was more reflective on their situation, but of course she’s walking around those tiny streets and she has the time and space to think and to write letters to Mia. And that’s maybe something people can resonate with when they watch the film. It’s not just about the twins. It’s also about how you live your life, what does your everyday life have to do with the relationships that you have? Do you have time to remain in touch with people if you are always on the go?”

    When the girls finally get together it is very touching. They squeal in anticipation of their imminent meeting and subsequently disappear together for the duration of the holiday, lost in a world that isn’t defined by parental input. They swim, run, gambol and frolic, continually finding non-verbal ways to communicate with each other (Alexandra cannot speak English and Mia cannot speak Norwegian). Of course they have to go their separate ways again, but Bertheussen believes that her film is just the beginning of a project that could run years into the future. “It may be a lifelong thing but of course it depends on how the girls think about it when they get older. I think there could be amazing sequels when they are teenagers and grown up. The families told me that if I want to do another film with them then they will do it. That is the best feedback you can get.”

    Nick Cunningham

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Twin Sisters

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