Inspired by the true story of twins who refused to communicate with the outside world, Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s “Silent Twins” screened Tuesday night at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. The painting, which is included in the Un Certain Regard section, is the director’s debut in English.
The presence of the “silent twins” at Un Certain Regard – promoting cinema with original themes and forms – is another Polish element at this year’s Cannes. Just a few days ago, the premiere of “IO” by Jerzy Skolimowski, referring to “For Luck, Baltazar!” Robert Bryson, a story about a donkey whose life travels through the Podkarpacie circus to an Italian slaughterhouse. The new image of the creator of the movie “Basic Murder” currently occupies one of the highest places in the critics’ ratings presented at the edition of the “Screen” festival. After the warm reception of Smoczyńska’s previous film “Fuga” in 2018 as part of the Semaine de la Critique, “Silent Twins” was an anticipated title. In his list of 10 films of the official must-watch selection, he included, among other things, British reviewer collaborating with “The Guardian” Peter Bradshaw along with titles such as “One Fine Morning” by Mia Hansen-Love and “Elvis” by Baz Luhrmann. .
“Silent Twins” is a Polish-American-British co-production. Andrea Siegel’s screenplay is based on a book by Marjorie Wallace about twins June and Jennifer Gibbons (played by Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence) who refuse to communicate with the outside world. Born in 1963, the two sisters had an exceptionally strong bond from the start. They were almost inseparable. When she and her family moved to Wales, they were the only black children in the community who began to feel discriminated against their peers. This refusal prompted them to gradually isolate themselves from other children and begin to communicate with each other only in their own, innovative language. After some time, their relationship began to be dangerous for the environment, and most of all for themselves.
The world premiere of the painting was held on Tuesday evening. In an interview published on the same day on the Cannes website, the Polish director stated that based on the fate of the Gibbons sisters, not only a book was previously created, but also a BBC document and a play. “Andrea has been obsessed with this story for over ten years. I contacted Marjorie Wallace and she and producer Alicia Van Kuering bought the film rights. Andrea wrote the script and started looking for a director. Luckily, I saw my first movie + My Girls. Dance. + – which was in theaters At the time – and she immediately reached out to me. As soon as I read the script, I knew I wanted to make this movie. The story of June and Jennifer also captured my imagination and I couldn’t stop thinking about it” – she confirmed.
The co-producers of “Silent Twins” are Ewa Puszczyńska and Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska. Jakob Kijowski is responsible for cinematography, Agnieszka Glinska is responsible for editing, and Barbara Rubik is responsible for the animation. The distributor of the film in Poland is Gutek Film, and in the United States – Focus Features. The date of the Polish presentation is still unknown.
In addition to Smoczyńska, Un Certain Regard includes, among others, “Goodland” by Helenore Palmason, “Korsage” by Marie Kreutzer, “Psychiatrist” by Christopher Burghley, “Rodeo” by Lola Kevoron and “The Stranger” by Thomas M. Wright. The winner will be chosen by a jury composed of: Italian director and actress Valeria Golino (Chairman), Polish actress Joanna Colleg, American director Debra Granic, French singer, songwriter and actor Benjamin Beaulay, Venezuelan actor and producer Edgar Ramirez.
Agnieszka Smoczyńska (born in 1978) is a director and screenwriter, a graduate of Art History at Adam Mickiewicz University in Pozna, Cultural Studies at the University of Wroclaw, and Director at the Department of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia in Katowice, and the Andrzej Wajda Principal School of Film Direction in Warsaw. Her first feature film “Dancing Girls” in 2015 won the award for Best Debut at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. A year later, the picture received a Special Jury Prize at the World Cinema Competition at the Sundance Film Festival for its artistic vision. In 2018, another full-length film by Smoczyńska, “Fuga”, was presented in the Semaine de la Critique (Film Critics Week) section of the Cannes Film Festival. In Poland, the film presented her with the Crystal Star Elle, Studio and Local Cinema Network Award at the Polish Film Festival. In 2018, she directed with Agnieszka Holland, Kasia Adamik and Olga Chajdas, the first Polish series for Netflix.
The 75th Festival de Cannes runs through Saturday.
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