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Three Identical Strangers
New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they're identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds’ joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives - and could transform our understanding of human nature forever.
|Studio :||Channel 4 Television, CNN Films,|
Memorable, crazy movie
I'll tell you why so serious
There's no way I can possibly love it entirely but I just think its ridiculously bad, but enjoyable at the same time.
There are moments in this movie where the great movie it could've been peek out... They're fleeting, here, but they're worth savoring, and they happen often enough to make it worth your while.
This documentary will stay with you for a long time after viewing and you will still not have answers to your questions. Three babies separated and adopted by three families - all different - and watched over many years. The history of how 2 found each other, and then the third and the publicity that followed. The story gets more interesting and more questions come to mind. The connection of the adoption agency, a Dr. Neubauer, and why??? The interviews with the parents, the assistants to Neubauer, and mostly with the men themselves are amazing in telling this story. A well produced, well written and well told. This is a story I will wonder about for a long time.
Though the story has been told before, (again recently in the New York Post of June 24th), seeing how three young lives were damaged in the name of scientific research turns the story from an interesting read into a visceral and ultimately heartbreaking experience. Tim Wardle's ("One Killer Punch") investigative documentary Three Identical Strangers traces the lives of triplets, Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman, all born to a teenage girl on July 12, 1961 in Glen Cove, New York. Placed in different homes by the same adoption agency at the age of six months, neither children nor the adopting parents were told about any other family members, only that the children were part of a "routine childhood-development study" which would require periodic visits and testing. Using archival footage, home movies, interviews, and recreations, the film traces the trajectory of the boys' life from their happy reunion after nineteen years to subsequent events that are much darker in tone. The boys discovered that they were members of a family of triplets almost by accident. When Robert began his freshman year at Sullivan County Community College, he was repeatedly mistaken for Eddy (who had previously attended the school) and who he soon learned was the twin brother he had never known. The story of the reunion of the long lost siblings received wide attention in the newspapers and was spotted by David, the third brother, a student at Queens College, and the three were reunited in a tale so amazing that Shafran is quoted as saying, "I wouldn't believe it if someone else was telling it." The happy reunion becomes fodder for media talk shows as the three are interviewed by Phil Donahue, Tom Brokaw and others and display an abundance of charm and sincerity. Without mentioning any possible differences that might exist, they talk about all the things they have in common. Posing in the same position on stage, they tell us that each of their families had an older sister, they all wrestled in high school, they all like the same color, smoke the same cigarettes (here's a nod to Marlboro), like the same type of women, and, presumably enjoy the same kind of fawning publicity. The rush of fame soon becomes a crescendo and the brothers even make a cameo appearance in the movie "Desperately Seeking Susan." With David and Robert providing the narration and with non-stop pop songs in the background, we follow their lives as they move in together and open a successful restaurant in Soho appropriately called "Triplets." After a period of time, however, a family dispute, the nature of which is undisclosed in the film, ends in Robert leaving the restaurant and moving out. Little by little, disturbing events surface. As Bob Dylan's song goes, "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." As told by journalist Lawrence Wright, the reporter who broke the story, we learn that all three brothers had emotional problems. Kellman and Galland had spent time in a psychiatric hospital and Shafran was on probation after having pleaded guilty to charges connected to a robbery. We also learn about Dr. Peter Neubauer, a highly regarded psychologist and Holocaust survivor who ran the research study, the Louise Wise adoption agency, and the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, all who played a role in the events surrounding the triplet's lives. Wardle also includes the story of two other twins, sisters separated at birth by the same adoption agency. While there are important events described in the film that are best left for the viewer to discover, needless to say, they are very disturbing. Although some of the film's conclusions are little more than speculation and there are many things that are still not known (records are sealed until 2066), what we do know is enough to shake our faith in any scientific research divorced from considerations of humanity.
'THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)A documentary about three identical triplets who were separated at birth, and neither they or their families were aware of it, until the siblings all accidentally meet at the age of 19. Then they later learn why. The film was directed by Tim Wardle, and it's received nearly unanimous positive reviews from critics. I found it to be extremely intriguing, but it's also highly disturbing. It's a really well made doc!Eddy, David and Robert were three identical triplets who were separated at birth, and put into different families. Neither they or their families knew this, until the three siblings accidentally meet at 19-year-old. They are amazed to learn just how similar they all are, right down to the women they like and their career choices. Their fascinating story becomes a huge news story as well, as the trio tours different talk shows, and then they later learn why this knowledge was kept secret from them (and their families). The triplets were separated as part of a scientific 'nature vs. nurture' twin study, and the results of it are the most fascinating part of the film (and the most disturbing). This is why the movie reconfirmed my beliefs that were socially conditioned to make almost all of the choices we make in life, and how we accept and tolerate others. It's why we believe we need to consume meat and dairy, and it's also why all the same people are perceived to be unattractive, by almost everyone, and vice versa. There's a really established and controlled hierarchy, and everyone has their set place in it. We can break this social conditioning (and go vegan, and learn to find unique looking people beautiful), but it's like breaking an addiction. It takes a lot of conscious effort and determination. That's what this movie reconfirmed in me.
This was a very interesting documentary. Perhaps those of you above the age of 50 can remember when three identical brothers were reunited in 1980 and were shown on just about every talk show. The title gives away the premise of the film which was done as a documentary. Three brothers were put up for adoption at birth and at six months of age they were separated. Only chance would have them get back together and it was pure bliss for the three until another momentous event would put an end to that bliss. The story goes beyond three young brothers reuniting, it is darker and more sinister.