Bregtje van der Haak

Hiyap and Evenezer were born on a rickety boat on the waves of the Mediterranean sea and grow up in Europe. Filmed in the course of seven years, Tweeling is a surprising and unsettling coming-of-age series about two dynamic boys with the same DNA and their determined Eritrean mother. How do they find their way in the world? And what do we see in the mirror they hold up to us?

Palermo, Italy, 2016. CNN reports that premature twins are born at sea. Hiyap and Evenezer survive miraculously. Fragile but thankful to be alive, Mother Merhawit shuffles in an antiseptic gown through the long hospital corridors to care for her tiny children behind glass. She eagerly accepts the filmmaker’s mobile to get in touch with the father of the boys in Sudan. She is in a state of shock, but her future is wide open.

The filmmaker decides to team up with the unlikely trio who are heading for an uncertain destiny. In seven episodes over seven years, the filmmaker gradually gets entangled in a web of complex relationships, as mother Merhawit pursues her mission to give her sons a life in Germany. Along the way, nothing is what it seems, as their journey takes unexpected turns.


Bregtje van der Haak
Mariska Schneider, Karen van Dijk
Country of production
Netherlands, The
90 minutes
Spoken language
Dutch, English, German, Tigrinya