I don't know how much of the movie focusses on the twins when they are children, probably ~20 minutes?'De Tweeling' ('The Twins') is another proof that the Dutch film industry is at present in a productive and good period. The film is directed by Ben Sombogaart and is based on the popular novel by Tessa de Loo (1993, also translated in various languages).
It tells the moving story of the twin sisters Anne en Lotte, who are separated in 1925, after their parents have died. They are taken care of by different family members, and grow up in very different circumstances. Lotte, who is suffering from tubercolose at the time, is raised by a Dutch family in rather luxurious circumstances.
She goes to study at the university and fills her spare time making music. Anne at the other hand, grows up with an illiterate peasant family, who keep her from school school to make her work all day, feeding the pigs.
You see the twins in three phases of their lives: as children, as young women and as aged women. This means hat both characters are played by three different actresses. The most important part of the story is situated in wartime, when the girls are in their early twenties.
This means the most important (and very good) roles are for Thekla Reuten and Nadja Uhl. Ellen Vogel and Gudrun Okras play the twin sisters as elder sisters at the end of the movie. The different places and conditions in which the girls grow up are a very important element. The sisters don't have contact until 1940, when Lotte finds out that all the letters she wrote have never been sent by their step-parents.
Lotte goes to visit Anne, who is working as a maid for a wealthy countess at the time. She is happy to see Anne again, but is scared by the political situation in Germany and by a thoughtless remark Anne made about her Jewish boyfriend.
Back in Holland, Lotte's boyfriend is arrested and taken to her camp. He will never return... Lotte swears to never have anything to do with Germans again, including her sister. Anne also has a hard time, the officer she married is killed at the end of the war.
After the war Anne goes to Holland, but Lotte refuses to speak to her, especially when she sees the photo of Anne's decased husband in his uniform. Decades later the two aged sisters meet again. Lotte tries to avoid her, while Anne desperately tries to create some understanding...
'De Tweeling' really is a moving story, about how fate and circumstances you don't chose can influence your life dramatically. The great acting and fine visualization make it a very good movie. When I watched it in the cinema, many people remained in their seats after the film had ended, still impressed, and some of the visitors could not keep their eyes dry...
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