Watched this documentary film tonight, and I can say it is the most heartwarming and touching, yet light-hearted documentary I’ve ever seen.
Twinsters is a real-life story about a pair of twins, Samantha Futerman and Anaïs Bordier, born in Korea but separated at birth and adopted by different families in America and France respectively.
Anaïs was then a fashion design student living in London, and Samantha an American actress. They didn’t know of each other’s existence until a friend of Anaïs showed her a YouTube video featuring Samantha. What ensued was probably the most mind-blowing revelation that changed both of their lives.
I’ve always been intrigued and curious about the inseparable and profound bond between twins that transcends that of ordinary siblings of different ages. Anaïs described how she grew up with her adopted parents as an only child, and always felt as if something was missing, as though she was always waiting for something to happen and would be really sad if it didn’t – although she hadn’t known what yet.
This sounds like how couples sometimes describe finding their soul mate – it is like finding a missing half of one’s soul. But maybe having the blood ties of kinship makes the experience of this connection even stronger, and dearer.
The film was actually crowd-funded on Kickstarter, and it’s heartening to see how the film, with its maddening amount of raw footage (I can only imagine the editing process), turned out. It feels really honest and vulnerable and emotional, and the fact that the twins discovering each other’s existence was made possible by social media makes everything – from the hand-held footage and live updates of their film/relationship progress online – even more powerful.
If I had watched this film two years ago when they made it, or possibly followed their story even earlier, it would have felt so powerful – a homage to how social media and technology, despite its many shortcomings, have literally transformed and uplifted lives.
The film also touches briefly on the idea of nature vs nurture, whether our lives and personalities are determined more by biology or the environment we are brought up in. This is even more relevant when it comes to twins, especially Samantha and Anaïs, who were brought up in two different environments and not given the chance to grow up together.
The thought of being separated from the twin at birth seems so poignant, yet Anaïs says, she wouldn’t change a thing about how things turned out and unfolded. It was also particularly touching how she described feeling lonely and alone all her life, and then not only does she find her twin, she is embraced by her twin’s family.
Samantha also encourages her to step out of her fear of facing the past, for while Samantha was fortunate to grow up in a open-minded and nurturing environment with two brothers, Anaïs was an only child and faced prejudice about being adopted and looking nothing like her parents.
Both embark on a meaningful trip back to their home country, South Korea, and reunite with their respective foster mothers who cared for them after their birth mother left them at birth, until they were adopted. They attend a conference with other South Korean adoptees feel, for the first time, that they are part of something so much larger.
This film, above all else, is a celebration of love in all its forms. As Anaïs says, she realised that out there in the world, even in the past before she knew it and now, she is loved and embraced by so many people. I guess no matter how tough life can be, there is always love. And there will always be love.
Twinsters is available here on YouTube, I highly encourage everyone who reads this to watch it, if you’re not tempted to already. Even or especially if you are feeling sad, their crazy amazing story and love will definitely bring some light and warmth into your heart.