Swiss Oscar Entry "My Little Sister" Dives Deep Into Sibling Love and Co-Dependency

Photo: (Photo : Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

"My Little Sister" is Switzerland's entry for the International Oscars. It is written and directed by power duo Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond, whose own sibling-like relationship inspired the movie. The Grade A- Drama movie stars Nina Hoss, the main actress for whom the co-directors built the little sister character (Lisa). The movie is shown from the perspective of Sven, played by Lars Eidinger.

Talented Siblings Struggle with Their Careers Due to Illness

Lisa and Sven are gifted artists. Lisa is a playwright and novelist, while her older (by two minutes) fraternal twin, Sven, is a celebrated theater actor. But their creative careers are halted when Sven got hit by leukemia and needed a blood marrow transplant, which his twin willingly gave.

Sven needs to recover, but his health continues to deteriorate. In part, because the theater actor wants to continue playing Hamlet-a role, he has hundreds of renditions he is famous for. This time around, his director David (Thomas Ostermeier), declines thinking Sven could not last 15 minutes on-stage, much less a 3-hour marathon play complete with fight scenes, Boston Herald reported.

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When Sibling Love is Stronger than Parental Love

Yet, Lisa is determined to preserve her ill brother's spirits. Taking on the role of her brother's keeper, she goes as far as taking him to her home where she lives with her husband Martin (Jens Albinus) and their two children, who are very fond of their uncle. Apparently, their mother (Marthe Keller), a former actress herself, is disinterested and at one point even said: "I cannot stand watching you waste away."

Yet, Lisa is already overwhelmed with her life. She stops writing due to the demands of her fraternal twin brother's illness. She is unable to accept her brother's decline-both his health and creative career. Their sibling bond only becomes stronger while she deals with her fracturing marriage, NY Times revealed.

"My Little Sister" is insightful on sibling love and loyalty. It expands on strong sibling bonds that can breed dependency-how the presence of each other. Lisa later finds healing, starts to write again, and finds the life she gets to save, maybe her own.

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The Power Duo that Inspired the Sibling Dependency of the Movie

"My Little Sister" directors Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond are long-term collaborators and co-directors. They explained that the story about the twins had come from their own sibling-like partnership.

Chuat revealed that the story came from their own duet, Deadline reported. The duo considers themselves soul mates in terms of their creative projects-a creativity that belongs and is unleashed only to the two of them. Chuat adds, "If one is gone, then the other will never again be the same." Such perspective was the starting point of the movie.

Raymond and Chuat have known each other for a long time, beginning from their school days until they both trained as actors, then trained to write and direct. The pair's dynamic is spontaneous, each taking on various responsibilities in writing and directing. Raymond revealed that they direct their actors as a duo, completely together on the set, democratically directing actors.

"My Little Sister" is available on Vudu, Direct TV, Amazon, and other streaming platforms, in French and German with subtitles. Meanwhile, you can watch the trailer below:

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