The Topp Twins Are Wickedly Talented Lesbians, Now in Documentary Form

Jamie’s Team Pick:

I’ve been at the Netflix again, and look what I found!  A lesbian movie that isn’t terrible! The Topp Twins (now streaming on Netflix) is a documentary and has politics, music, heart felt emotion and more alternative hairstyles than you can shake a stick at. The lesbian section on Netflix makes me want to cry/throw-up, so my expectations were low when I cuddled up with this film but I was pleasantly surprised.

As reviewed by the New York Times, the Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls is:

“Leanne Pooley’s unabashedly admiring documentary about a double act that defies logic as much as convention. Merging old-fashioned comedy routines with up-to-the-minute politics — all of it enabled by fun-loving personalities and a gift for rousing original songs — the ladies emit a genuine warmth that reels audiences in.” The film showcases many of the political protests where they performed and participated in for gay rights, and other social causes. Billy Bragg makes a couple appearances in the film describing sisters Jools and Lynda as a kind of “anarchist variety act”.

In the film you see the twins over the ages in many a costume including the bowling ladies Mavis and Lorna and Ken and Ken. I don’t understand twin love and the magic that goes on there from my own experience, but it’s definitely palpable here. As a sidenote, their brother is gay too, and we meet the Topp parents who seem like fine people to have a cup of tea with should I ever be in New Zealand.

Topp Twins as The Bowling Ladies – Mavis and Lorna

Topp Twins as Ken & Ken

The Topp Twins, the early years

Horses, goats and cowboy hats all make an appearance as the twins grew up in the New Zealand countryside and we see footage from their early years which is to say this film truly does have something for everyone!

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Jamie J. Hagen

Jamie lives in Boston and is currently a PhD student in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a freelance writer and also a team associate for the Boston chapter of Hollaback!.

Jamie has written 76 articles for us.


  1. I have so many feelings about this movie. So. Many. Feelings.

    The words aren’t coming, but the feelings, I have them.

  2. As an Australian, all comedy becomes automatically 100% more hilarious for me when it is performed in a New Zealand accent, so this documentary looks fantastic.

    • Can’t believe you haven’t seen it yet, mate! It was on at the pitchers here and everything. Pretty sure you can prolly get it on dvd.

  3. Fuck Yeah! Kiwis! We lady loving New Zealanders owe so much to these two adorable women. Thanks for reminding me that they’re amazing!

  4. I would like to say that this has been on TV here in NZ at least once if not a few times already. They are pretty well loved here.

    (Even if I don’t ‘get’ their comedy, it’s still pretty awesome)

  5. This is an awesome documentary, especially if you’re a Kiwi (I feel we have precious few LGBTQIAXYZ induviduals to look up to, though that’s partly because we only have four million people and forty million sheep – and tolerance levels aren’t exactly in the dark ages, it’s just that (as a generalisation) everyone is obsessed with men’s rugby and you’re weird if you’re female and not in love with Dan Carter). I saw it a while ago, though it was kinda sad because my father and aunt were very derogatory about the fact that they were lesbians – like, ‘Oh they would be so awesome if only they weren’t gay.’ But I’m proud to say these girls are from my country ^_^

    • I love that it shows what amazing politics these chickas and many other NZ-ers have. I’d be proud of them, too!

  6. Oh, that doc is _great_. It was my first serious date with my girlfriend. Hilarious and touching.

  7. The lesbian section of Netflix is definitely the saddest thing ever. Thanks for a great recommendation!

    • Have you ever seen Aimee and Jaguar? It’s a German film about two lesbians during World War II, one who’s a Nazi officer’s wife and one who’s Jewish. It’s pretty great and on instant queue.

  8. I love Untouchable Girls and the Topp twins. Pretty much everything about it is amazing; their coming out story, the old footage of them dressed in mens suits, their adorable parents, their activism.

  9. yay the Topps! I’ve never been really into their comedy style but all of us in NZ have to be grateful for all the amazing work they’ve put into local LGBT culture and political struggles over the years.

  10. I saw the movie one year ago. It is quite amazing! I strongly encourage all of you to find the DVD or go to the screenings at your theatres. Though I didn’t really appreciate some of their comedy routines culturally, it is obvious that the twins are big role models to a lot of people.

  11. It really is a great documentary and as a Kiwi I’d recommend watching it too – worth noting too that the Topp Twins have a fairly universal appeal amongst “middle New Zealand”: they had a prime time comedy TV show for several years and I went to see one of their concerts with my mum at the Auckland Town Hall about 2 years ago, it was completely sold out.

    Ken and Ken are the best, the alarming thing being that the Topps as Ken and Ken are practically indistinguishable from a large percentage of Kiwi farming blokes…

  12. I was literally browsing netflix too and I just love documentaries and I want to watch them all so then I watched this one not even knowing they were lesbians, and then they were and it was good and funny and they were sweet and I cried.

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