Sister My Sister is a 1994 film starring British actresses Julie Walters, Joely Richardson, and Jodhi May. The film was directed by Nancy Meckler and written by Wendy Kesselman, based on her own play, My Sister in This House. Both the play and the subsequent film deal with societal repression and its victims.
The film is based on a true incident in Le Mans, France in 1933 called the Papin murder case, where two sisters brutally murdered their employer and her daughter. The murder shocked the country, and there was much speculation about the sisters, including allegations that they were having an incestous lesbian affair with each other.
In 1933 France, Christine (Richardson) is the maid of a well-to-do middle-aged widow (Julie Walters) and her teenage daughter (Sophie Thursfield). Her younger sister, Lea (May) is hired on the recommendation of Christine. The two sisters become increasingly alienated from their employer, separated by barriers between the classes. With only each other to turn to and Christine experiencing much jealousy as to her sister's interest in anyone else, the relationship becomes sexual, adding to the tension between the sisters and their employer. The tension ultimately leads to paranoia, repressed rage and murder.Julie Walters as Madame Danzard
Joely Richardson as Christine
Jodhi May as Lea
Sophie Thursfield as Isabelle Danzard
Amelda Brown as Visitor #1
Lucita Pope as Visitor #2
Kate Gartside as Sister Veronica
Aimee Schmidt as Young Lea
Gabriella Schmidt as Young Christine
The Papin case was also the subject of The Maids, a play by Jean Genet written in 1949 that was adapted by Christopher Miles into a 1974 film of the same name. It starred Glenda Jackson and Susannah York as the maids, and Vivien Merchant as their employer.
It is also mentioned in a 1995 French film of Claude Chabrol, La Cérémonie, with Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Bonnaire. The characters are not the Papin sisters, but are two women that end up murdering their employer. It is an adaptation from the novel A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell.
The story was also filmed as Murderous Maids, a French film starring Sylvie Testud and Julie-Marie Parmentier, and directed by Jean-Pierre Denis.