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. They were “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. Director Leslie Zemeckis drops by to talk about the lives of the two women who were subjected to abuse by their handlers and kept out of public view in fear of losing their monetary value and how her film Bound by Flesh begins to restore their rightful legacy.
“This brilliant, revelatory biography of the conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton is intelligent, mesmerizing and poignant. The Hilton Sisters launched out of darkness, reached astounding global stardom, and then plummeted through more darkness to a spare but luminous peace. “Bound By Flesh” is unforgettable.” – Katherine Dunn, author of “Geek Love”
“Leslie Zemeckis’ poignant and illuminating “Bound by Flesh” is much more that a triumph of astonishingly comprehensive research, but is above all an unforgettably compassionate account of the difficult lives of Daisy and Violet Hilton.” – Kevin Thomas, former Los Angles Times staff writer
“A gripping, roller-coaster tale of showbiz tragedy, Bound By Flesh puts a touchingly human face on two outsiders who went from the lowest rungs of society to the big time and back again.” – Indiewire