May 18, 2024

What is the true story behind the shocking and tragic new drama, The Silent Twins?

The Silent Twins is a gripping new movie that has had critics raving since its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

The biographical drama film, starring Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance and directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska, is based on the heartwrenching and shocking true story of June and Jennifer Gibbons. Ahead of the movie’s cinematic UK release date on 9 December, what do we actually know about the real-life sisters and their undeniably close bond that inspired the movie? Read ahead to find out more.

Born in 1963, June and Jennifer Gibbons were twin sisters raised by Barbadian parents in a small town in Wales during the seventies and eighties alongside their three siblings. As the only black family in the town, they endured relentless bullying at school and isolation from the community. As a result, the pair gradually rejected communication from everyone around them except each other. Even then, they would only speak to each other in private.

In one of her few interviews, June told The New Yorker in 2000: «Eight or nine, we started suffering, and we stopped talking. People called us names — we were the only Black girls in school. Terrible names. They pulled our hair. »

They attempted to forget about their woes at home, as one Christmas, the twins were gifted diaries where they would write their fantasies and plays, which led to a passion for creative writing and writing their own novels.

However, the bullying worsened during high school, and the pair continued retreating inwards and to each other while experimenting with alcohol, drugs, and boys before a string of petty crimes led them to serve twelve years at the infamous maximum-security hospital for the criminally insane, Broadmoor. The hope was to separate the twins and help them integrate back into society. However, the plan backfired, and the two were closer than ever before.

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