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The Silent Twins (1986)

The Silent Twins is a 1986 film directed by Jon Amiel. The screenplay for the film was written by Marjorie Wallace, based on her best-selling book of the same name. It first aired on Season 2, Episode 2 of the BBC2 programme Screen 2 (1985-1998).

 

 

A remarkable and tragic story which, in its depth, penetration and detail, no less than its extraordinary subject matter, must be seen as outstanding. It is a testimony to something extraordinary in the author herself.’

Oliver Sacks, New York Times Review of Books on Marjorie Wallace’s book, The Silent Twins.

The Silent Twins is based on the true story of June and Jennifer Gibbons, two identical twins who only communicated with each other and were admitted to Broadmoor Hospital for twelve years after a spree of arsons.

Marjorie first met the Silent Twins while working for The Sunday Times Insight Team as an investigative journalist. While reporting on the story, she met their parents, who showed Marjorie their notebooks. She discovered that while the twins were dismissed for their mental health issues, they led rich, secret lives as writers.

Over the course of several years during the twins’ confinement at Broadmoor, Marjorie gained their trust. She was the only person besides each other that June and Jennifer spoke to. Marjorie spent her weekends at the hospital and as a result of her writing, their story was widely publicised in the British press.