A girl struck numb by tragedy and a refugee boy bond together against the vicious world in this stunning film set in Sardinia: a dark, but hopeful story of youth and vulnerability in today’s world
Anna, an Italian girl is alone in Sardinia, hunted by a dangerous man and refuses to speak to anyone. Basim, an Ivorian boy has gotten to Sardinia by boat and has to survive without money or papers. They meet and stick together, despite being separated by the language barrier and Anna’s silence, as only two most vulnerable and innocent humans can: through tenderness and implicit trust. The world is against them, but the kids survive by playing house and offering each other compassion that’s lacking around them.
If I were to choose a word that best describes our modernity, I’d choose “powerlessness”, and “Twin Flower” is a perfect film about it. The characters can’t change much about their situations. The dangerous man chasing Anna is armed, Basim can’t do anything about his paperless status, and both, due to various reasons, are not able to get back with their families. However, as they bond together, Anna and Basim become more potent and in charge of their destiny. Perhaps not to the fullest extent, but to a bit—and that’s something. And this, the ability to alter the course of events through collective action, is the only antidote I feel we have to the “powerlessness” I’m talking about. “Twin flower” is a remarkable study of this on the level of the smallest units.
The characters in this stunning film are played by amateur actors: a schoolgirl who immigrated with her family from Ukraine as a toddler, and a real Ivorian refugee, who at the time of filming did not speak more than 20 words of Italian. And perhaps because their acting retains a level of innocence, the two blend so organically into the story and the stunning Sardinian landscapes, that this very mellow, slow-paced film absorbs your attention fully. Watching the two kids be there for each other is soothing and hypnotic, and a necessary exercise in empathy for today’s world.
Twin Flower (Fiore gemello), 2018
Director: Laura Luchetti