These twin sisters grew up singing to cows on their family’s dairy farm, and in the 1890s were young radicals, singing a the frontlines of every major political movement in their homeland, New Zealand. At a time when it was career suicide to be “out” they still attracted a main-stream audience. Doubly funny and enormously power-full singers, their politically-charged comedy theater helped change the social fabric of a nation and in the process the Topps became unlikely cultural icons.
Part concept film, part biopic, part historical record and part comedy, Leanne Pooley’s documentary was made to mark the Topp Twins' 50th birthday. New Zealand's favorite comedic, country singing, dancing and yodeling lesbian twin sisters tell their personal story: from their "coming out" to Jools' brush with breast cancer. The film features archive material, home movies and interviews with the Topps' alter-egos. Alongside local box office success and dozens of international awards, Girls won the People’s Choice best documentary at 2009 Toronto Film Festival.
Director Leanne Pooley writes: The Topp Twins embody so much of what New Zealand has achieved in the last 30 years. They have walked along New Zealand as New Zealand grew up. Māori land rights. They were there. Feminism. They were there. 1981 Springbok Tour ... They were part of the anti-nuclear movement. The Twins have been part of New Zealand's history. So, in making a film about the Twins I've been given the chance to make a film about New Zealand.