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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Show Business > Stage > Entertainment > Conjoined Twins > Bound By Flesh (2012/MPI/Sundance Selects DVD)

Bound By Flesh (2012/MPI/Sundance Selects DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: B- Documentary: B

Leslie Zemeckis' Bound By Flesh (2012) is a thought provoking documentary that explores the origins of the circus sideshow and focuses heavily on two conjoined twins named Daisy and Violet Hilton who rose to superstardom in the sideshow circus world. They even performed alongside Bob Hope, Charlie Chaplin and transcended the stereotypes of being a sideshow performer. Released by Sundance Selects, this high profile documentary is a must if you are interested in the strange and unusual.

American sideshows were in fairs, circuses and carnivals. There were acts such as glass blowers, musicians, and also the freaks. Most freaks just stood there while the audience wondered past. The Hilton Sisters however were trained to put on an engaging act. They sang, they danced and played a variety of musical instruments and as a result became hugely popular. Bound By Flesh explores the American sideshow, its origins and its heyday when the Hilton Sisters were on display for huge streams of crowds pouring into the tent to get a glimpse of these fetching sisters. The film includes interviews with Ward Hall, known as the King of the Sideshow. He is the last of the sideshow promoters in the style of a P.T. Barnum.

The documentary is cleanly made with high production value and interesting interviews. The transitions between images mixed with animation are expertly done and the subject matter doesn't quite get old during the 90 minute run time. Beyond the subject matter of Sideshows, what this documentary really does is show the transformation of the entertainment industry in the early part of the last century which is pretty fascinating.

Sound and Picture on the disc are standard for the DVD format sporting a standard definition transfer in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Extras include:

Additional Interviews

The Making of Bound By Flesh

Audio Interviews

Photo Gallery


If you are into documentaries or the subject matter then this is a must see.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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