Cinebanter

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

SIFF Sighting: THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS (documentary; New Zealand)

Linda and Jools Topp are sisters—musical, lesbian sisters to be exact; but that's only part of their charm. In this lighthearted biographical documentary, The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, we trace the roots of Jools and Linda back to their humble-yet-proper upbringing in New Zealand.

As told by their business associates, parents and partners, it appears the girls were always entertainers. Born with a gift for song and an incredible sense of humor, the sisters developed a series of characters based on types of people they knew and performed songs and skits as if they were them. What resulted was a comedic attack complete with costumes, guitars and audience participation.

In addition to becoming popular entertainers, they also became active in Kiwi politics, leading the fight for gay and lesbian rights. Amidst all of the injustices that come with declaring oneself homosexual, these two ladies approach their lifestyle with the same refreshing joy and positive energy that they bring to their shows.

It's also important to note that they are not unlike millions of other twins who seem to have an undeniable bond that makes them want to spend time together. Aside from working as a pair, the two live together, with their respective partners, under one roof. As they describe in the film, if anyone is going to come after either of them, they should be forewarned that they are coming for two.

All in all, it's a pleasant journey through the lives of two driven women who are living life to the fullest, using their talents to create joy for themselves and thousands of others. What I appreciated most about this piece was its ability to convince me that, yes, sometimes nice girls do finish first.

The Top Twins: Untouchable Girls screened at the 36th Annual Seattle International Film Festival.

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