Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls (2009) – Salt Spring Island Documentary Film Festival 2011
I just came out of the opening night gala of the 12th Annual Salt Spring Documentary Film Festival. The headlining film has a lot of different themes, ranging from sisterhood to political and social movements, to gay and lesbian rights, to music and its impact in society. I spent a lovely evening getting to know part of the Salt Spring Island community at the gala dinner (thanks to the good works of Deirdre Rowland, who has been an extremely gracious host).
The headlining documentary film, Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is extremely well crafted and articulates so many themes in a seamless, smooth way. The Topp Twins, New Zealand lesbian sisters Lynda and Jools Topp, amazing folk singers who managed to unite a music-loving country, singing their way to advance numerous of social causes. Most importantly, they do so while innovatively creating characters and building community.
What I found most exquisite about this film is that it was extremely well crafted. Each chapter of the Topps Twins was punctuated by a song, linked to a conversation or interview with their parents, associate producers, collaborators, co-conspirators, and obviously their partners. Of course, I shed tears as well because Jools faced chemotherapy to treat breast cancer in 2006, and given how my life has been touched by cancer, I couldn’t help myself.
Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is an extremely heart-warming, funny and well crafted documentary. You can see at the end the deep love and devotion of each sister for their twin. Highly recommended. Below you will find the Salt Spring Island Documentary Film Festival brief for Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls:
New Zealand’s twin national treasures are sure to sing, dance and yodel their way into your hearts as this rollicking film reveals these amazing and inspiring characters in all their many guises. From their rural roots to performing on the world stage, Jules and Lynda Topp have won over audiences with their original songs and comedy alter egos. Their involvement with movements for Maori rights, nuclear disarmament and against apartheid and homophobia is highlighted in the film through archival footage and home movies. Their appeal is infectious. These icons of New Zealand would fit right in on Salt Spring!
Disclosure: I’m in Salt Spring Island to experience the 12th Annual Salt Spring Island Documentary Film Festival March 4th through 6th. My stay at Hastings House and my flight on Salt Spring Air have both been complimentary. Entry to the film festival is by donation and I’ve happily paid for that out of my own pocket. It’s a fantastic film festival and you should experience it next year.