Siamese Twins is a Documentary programme.



Siamese Twins

What is it like to spend every second joined to another person, sleeping, eating, working and even having sex? This compelling and intimate film shows how four pairs of Siamese twins have struggled with a conjoined existence but gone on to lead remarkably full and separate lives.

The term Siamese twins originates from Eng and Chang, conjoined twins from Siam who toured America after 1829 in a sensational act that earned them fame and wealth. Settling in North Carolina, they married two sisters who bore them a total of 22 children.

Ronnie and Donnie Galyon were the last Siamese twins to exhibit themselves for money. Born in 1952, they spent 30 years with carnivals, and earned enough to buy a house and retire to Ohio. Joined from the chest to the groin, Ronnie and Donnie grew sick of each other, and often threw fists. Today, theyve learnt to co-operate and we witness them leading their everyday lives.

Lori and Reba Schappel were born joined at the head, and spent 20 years locked away in an institution before obtaining independent lives. Though they share parts of the same brain, they are very different personalities, and candidly reveal how compromise has dominated their lives. Reba is a country and western singer, while Lori dreams of a family and kids. When Reba tours, Lori patiently tags along, and when Lori is on a date, Riba has learnt to switch off.

Less successful in their personal lives were vaudeville performers Daisy and Violet Hilton who were repeatedly refused permission to marry and ended up destitute in 60s North Carolina. Their few surviving friends recall how they ended their days weighing vegetables at a supermarket.

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 55 minutes (approx)