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Chicago Theatrical Premiere
THE TOPP TWINS:
People's Choice Award Toronto Intl Film Fest
Best Indie Feature Best Original Music New Zealand Film&TV Awards
"A docu that has you falling in love with two of the crazier people you've never met" -Variety
"The beloved Kiwi duo...can charm even the crankiest viewers" -Village Voice
"A rare treasure" -Chicago Now
½ -Chicago Tribune
"Topp Twin... rewards with a sense of intimacy" -Chicago Sun-Times
Recommended! "Kiwi fruitcake, through-and-through, and I mean that in the best possible way" -NewCity Chicago
"An affectionate close-up" -TimeOut Chicago
"Fun-loving and a little silly, they bring to their activism an inclusive spirit that's all but irresistible" -Chicago Reader
One of New Zealand's most cherished performing duos, the team Jools and Lynda Topp are likely the world's only yodelling, lesbian, country-and-western-singing twins. Through a compilation of interviews, performance footage, home videos and newsreel archives, director Leanne Pooley traces the sisters' lives over fifty years, from their humble beginnings on a small dairy farm to their present-day stage success. They had a hit TV show, an international tour was next, and soon the girls were lassoing their messages of love and equality to issues as broad as apartheid and nuclear disarmament. The passage of a successful gay rights reform bill in New Zealand's Parliament certainly deserves a big nod to the tireless efforts of the Topps.
Not simply a rags-to-riches tale, however, Pooley's film also documents the struggles the twins have had to endure -- including Jools' battle against and recovery from breast cancer -- and places their personal story against the larger canvas of thirty years of seismic social change in New Zealand, as the country strived to find and define its national identity. Part biopic, part concert film, part comedy, The Topp Twins is a funny and insightful study of how we define our identities personally, culturally and nationally.
Directed by Leanne Pooley, New Zealand, 2009, 84 mins.