While perusing social media a few months ago, I came across a story about identical twin girls separated at birth by adoption who find each other in their 20s. The story caught my attention because I am the adoptive mother of twin girls. I wondered what if my girls had been split up at birth. Would they still have the same personalities? What characteristics would be different? How would being raised by different families and perhaps in different cultures change who they are?
Twinsters is a documentary of these girls I read about. Samantha (Sam) was born in Korea and later adopted by an American family. Anais was also born in Korea and adopted by a French family. This movie begins with Sam discovering through social media that she has a look-alike on another continent. Because Sam is an actress in the film industry, she began documenting the events leading up to meeting Anais from the beginning of their relationship. I’m glad they started filming right away because it allows the viewer to see the emotions of this experience, and Sam is able to share her thoughts from the very beginning of what seems like an unbelievable situation.
I found myself smiling as the girls Skyped for the first time, seeing just how similar they look, right down to the freckles on their cheeks. I was amazed at how similar their personalities are. I found myself crying for them as they learned their birth mother denies giving birth to them. I felt the sadness Sam felt for Anais learning that her experience with adoption had not been as positive as hers had been.
The documentary follows Sam and Anais through meeting for the first time in London, DNA testing, searching information from the adoption agencies in Korea, and going to Korea to meet their foster mothers. I especially liked seeing Anais meet her foster mother. Anais talks about knowing her birthday was in November, but always feeling as if her life began in March, when she was adopted by her parents. She couldn’t think of existing before she was adopted and it brought peace to her to know she was loved and cared for before the adoption.
The movie ends with a beautiful thought from Sam as she is listing all the people she is blessed to have in her life as a result of adoption and being separated from her twin all these years. She says, “Family is what you make of it. There’s no definition.”
This movie is rated PG-13 because of language.