Contemporary World Cinema

Indivisible

Edoardo de Angelis

Indivisible 01

Two teenage Siamese twins face an emotional decision when a doctor claims that he can separate them, in this stylized, offbeat drama from Neapolitan director Edoardo de Angelis.

This offbeat but highly distinctive work from director Edoardo de Angelis ventures into territory rarely seen in the cinema, and does so with understanding and sensitivity. Grounded in modern-day Italy, but also evoking a whimsical nostalgia reminiscent of Federico Fellini's universe, Indivisible is a deeply moving portrait of conjoined twin sisters.

Connected at the hip, 18-year-olds Daisy and Viola are gifted with beautiful voices and often sing at local weddings, family functions, and communions. Their father, a rather seedy small-time businessman, has turned them into an entertainment act in order to support the family and, ultimately, fill his own pockets. The two girls barely have a moment to breathe as they are run from engagement to engagement, until a chance meeting with a doctor reveals that, because they share no vital organs, they can be safely separated. The ensuing melodrama is twofold. The twins each have somewhat different views on what this radical step could mean. Their father, meanwhile, is apoplectic when confronted with the possibility of no longer being able to cash in on his daughters.

Set in Caserta, just north of Naples, and delivered largely in Neapolitan dialect, Indivisible employs moments of pure visual lyricism to create a stylized world where dream and reality collide.

As the twins set out on their trip to confront new choices in their lives, de Angelis explores what it means to separate oneself from the past, in this case literally as well as metaphorically. The young women's habitual orbit is troubled by the new world they begin to navigate, one that is rich with possibilities but rife with challenges.

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