Meet the “Laural” Twins
By Leora Eisen  
Director Leora Eisen with her twin Linda at age 4

My twin sister Linda and I were wombmates, soulmates, and as genetically identical as two human beings can possibly be. Yet when I see another pair of twins on the street, I’m fascinated and can’t help but stare. And I’m one of them!

Twinship raises all kinds of questions about identity, genetic destiny, and what makes us who we are. Last year, I decided to travel around the world meeting other identical twins in search of answers. The result is “Two of a Kind,” a feature film airing this fall on documentary Channel, as well as a documentary on The Nature of Things revealing how twins research is helping scientists solve medical mysteries and the age-old debate of nature vs. nurture.

Throughout filming, I met a captivating cast of characters, ranging from a pair of Cirque du Soleil aerialists to twins raised apart by two separate families.  But perhaps the most intriguing of all are the Knight sisters of Kingsville, Ont.

Lauren and Allison are the most unique twins I’ve ever met, and in some ways, the most complicated. Since most media coverage of twins is relentlessly cute, simplistic and positive, I wanted to see if there was another side to double identity.

The Knight twins

The Knights are “mirror image” twins, whose physical traits mirror each other on opposite sides. But their similarities go far beyond appearance. Their movements, their habits, even their thoughts are eerily alike.  Everything they do is perfectly in sync, from what they eat, to how they dress, to the way they sign their artwork (“Laural” a combination of Lauren and Allison). As they put it, “we feel like two bodies, one soul.” 

I have always had an unbreakable bond with my sister – an emotional connection so deep, so innate, that the twin relationship is what defines me most, even more than my role as a happy wife, mom or daughter. For years, Linda and I lived a street apart and spoke almost every single day. Nevertheless, we were always able to develop separate relationships, to travel to different countries, and to lead independent lives.

That’s not the case for 31-year-old Lauren and Allison. Although it’s hard to imagine, they have never been apart for more than four hours. Ever. 

They simply have to be together. For them, being identical twins is both a blessing and a curse. Unfortunately, because their need to be indistinguishable from one another is so strong, their lives have been put on hold as they search for a career they can pursue jointly and romantic partners who understand they come as a twosome. 

Find out more about the Knight twins, their artwork and their joint memoir, “Mirror, Mirror”.

Learn more about twins on 'Two of a Kind' coming to the Nature of Things and the documentary channel next fall. Read more on the filmmaker's website.
 


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