'The Silent Twins' Aims To Unravel The True Story Of June And Jennifer Gibbons

The story of June and Jennifer Gibbons remains as confounding as ever — even with multiple on-screen and print iterations. The identical twins spent most of their lives

mirroring each other’s every move. They only spoke to each other, not even their family, in a language they stitched together on their own (a blend between their native Barbadian

patois and English, spoken very quickly). While the sisters went to school, they never participated in class. June and Jennifer were relentlessly bullied by their white

school peers while growing up in England and Wales in the ’60s and ’70s. In response, teachers medicated them and therapists tried in vain to get the pair to open up to them. At

best, the twins looked down at the floor in silence. At worst, one might try to hurt the other if she even considered uttering a sound.  They retreated even farther as they

delved into their imaginations, writing novels, essays and poems. Though intensely dependent on each other, the sisters’ relationship often oscillated between adoring and

supportive to contentious and unhealthy.  As the duo entered adulthood, they began wearing wigs and mismatched outfits, experimenting with drugs and sex and committing petty

crimes in the early ’80s. The latter is what catalyzed their 11-year imprisonment in Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security psychiatric facility in England where they were overly

medicated and further demoralized.