6 Picks with the Soska Sisters: The Twisted Twins on Their Documentary Favorites

In 2015, Jen and Sylvia Soska shared their favorite documentaries.

Twisted Twins

Nonfics is now a newsletter! Please support documentary criticism by subscribing here: nonfics.substack.com.

As part of our Six Picks series, we asked the Twisted Twins for documentaries that meant something to them. Along with each recommendation is a comment about their inclusion.

Jen and Sylvia Soska, the so-called “Twisted Twins”, are at the forefront of a kind of genre film renaissance. From their 2009 feature Dead Hooker in a Trunk, they’ve playfully toyed with audience expectations about the role of women and alternative lifestyles in horror, often directly challenging prevailing norms that see the femme of the film simply screaming helplessly. With the highly Gothic, Cronenbergian American Mary, franchise sequels like See No Evil 2 and their anthology work in ABCs of Death 2, plus their upcoming Vendetta, horror fans are cheering their work and embracing the Soskas’ clear love of that community.

In one of their more unique projects, the sisters produced and appear in a small verite film that ably serves as a PSA for Blood Drives on behalf of the”Women in Horror” group (watch it here).

As part of an ongoing series, Nonfics asked them about their own love of documentary cinema, requesting that they pick six films that are of personal significance to them. There are a few surprises but also a few films that seem to overtly connect with the work that the Twins are best known for.

In their own words, here are the six picks the Soska sisters chose:

The September Issue (R.J. Cutler, 2009)

“A brilliant film that gives audiences an inside glimpse into the world of one of the most hard working, influential, respected and powerful women in the world, Anna Wintour. It also shows her dynamic with creative director Grace Coddington. Anna is one of our heroes. She is a phenomenal woman and icon.”

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (Brian Knappenberger, 2014)

“A very upsetting look at the life and death of a young man who fought for freedom of speech and the sharing of information and his questionable death. Prodigy. Activist. And martyr.”

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (Kurt Kuenne, 2008)

“I don’t even want to say what this film is about. It came highly recommended to me and I had no idea what it was about until that one point in the film where you know. Highly emotional.”

The Invisible War (Kirby Dick, 2012)

“This is a very important documentary and I’m shocked that not more people have seen it. It’s heartfelt and a very revealing look at a disgusting look that explores the ever-increasing incidents of violent sexual assault within the U.S. military.”

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (Constance Marks, 2012)

“A beautiful and heartwarming story about Kevin Clash, the third puppeteer to puppet Elmo who rose from rags to riches with his outpour of love into this character. Somewhat overshadowed by accusations of sexual assault, [we] stand by Kevin Clash and find it absolutely disgusting that some people care so much to get fame and money by defacing this man.”

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick, 2006)

“We’re not much for censorship. We believe in freedom of speech and the free flow of information. This is a fascinating look at who decides what we are able to see and not. And how.”

Interview and article contributed by Jason Gorber.

The Nonfics staff works tirelessly to ensure that you always know what's going on in the world of nonfiction entertainment.