Documentary Recommendation: Three Identical Strangers (2018)

When I tell people my story, they don’t believe it. I guess I wouldn’t believe the story if someone else were telling it, but I’m telling it and it’s true, every word of it.

-Robert Shafran-

Three Identical Strangers is a 2018 documentary film directed by Tim Wardle about the lives of Edward Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran. They are identical triplet brothers adopted as infants by separate families of different economic backgrounds. The film begins with Bobby Shafran discovering he had a brother when he arrived on a community college campus and was greeted by students who incorrectly recognized him as Eddy Galland. The two realized they had both been adopted and later foudn out they had another sibling, David Kellman. While the brothers were all adopted by Jewish parents, not everyone flourished as genetics/nature can be overpowered by environment/nurture or lack thereof.

The media put the triplets under the spotlight including talk shows like Jenny Jones and Geraldo. They focused on the simple things like clothes and similar tastes in women. What they didn’t cover was the reason why they were split up in the first place. This is where the more sinister nature of the separation comes into play. Because of this, they all grew up having a variety of mental health issues including depression. Peter Neubauer and Viola Bernard were the two responsible for this study as the latter was involved with the Louise Wise adoption agency. The most chilling part of the documentary is when the adoptive parents confronted the Jewish Board of Guardians. While there were some answers, there weren’t enough by the end of the documentary and this is no fault of the director. Sometimes the most wanted answers won’t ever be discovered and you have to live with it just the same, knowing all the while the people responsible will never be held accountable for their decisions and actions.

I rate Three Identical Strangers FOUR FINGERS AND ONE THUMB at 100%.

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