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Documentary tells dark story of triplets separated at birth



The first time that the brothers David Kellman, Bobby Shafran and Eddy Galland were in the public eye, it was a pleasure. The then-19-year-old identical triplets, who were separated at birth, had just learned of the existence of others.

Despite being raised separately, the three generous, curly children smoked the same cigarettes and finished their sentences. They appeared in shows such as Phil Donahue, became tabloid regulars in the early '80s, and in 1985 appeared with Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. They opened a restaurant in New York's Soho called Triplets Roumanian Steak House.

"We fell in love somehow," Kellman recalls in the new documentary "Three Identical Strangers" (1

9659002). Her second round was more complicated. Galland killed himself in 1995. And the disturbing reasons for their separation came only after this first appearance of reunification. "Three Identical Strangers," directed by British filmmaker Tim Wardle, is the story behind her story, one of the most troubling cases of separation at birth.

Since its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, the film – a real roller coaster ride into a dark and twisted storyline – has both amazed and upset moviegoers alike. It has again put pressure on a prominent child development center to make the study transparent. And it has put the remaining brothers in the limelight in far less festive circumstances.

"When we walked through the limelight before it was celebrated, it was all fun," said Kellman, now 57, in an interview. Yes, but it also brings a lot of pain.

"I saw it in the theater," he added. "I cried like a baby."

"Three Identical Strangers", which opens in theaters on Friday, is about a much-documented case that has largely disappeared from public memory. Surprisingly, after the triplets had found each other in 1980, Shafran went to a New York community college, only to discover that everyone already knew him, who considered him Galland already enrolled, followed another discovery.

The triplets, born in 1961, were divided into three families by the now deceased Louise Wise – an upper class, a middle-class, working-family agency as part of a study on nature versus parenting by the Child Development Center. The center would later merge with the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, a large, 140-year-old charitable New York club.

which included an unknown number of twins – was done in the 1960s and 70s by dr. Peter Neubauer, a prominent Austrian-born psychologist who died in 2008. Without the knowledge of the children or their parents, the researchers investigated the development of the children until the triplets appeared on television.

"I do not know what these people are going to do, if anything, I just know what they did wrong," Shafran said, "They can blame people who are no longer alive, but it's an institution "An Ongoing Institution The entire study should be open to novice users only."

The study's files, which are being kept at Yale University, will not be open until 2066. Some heavily edited research was shared by the Jewish Executive with Kellman and Shafran, but only in The Last Days of Post Production by Three Identical Strangers after months of effort by the filmmakers and the family. "It pulled teeth to get each side," said Kellman.

"You would not talk to us during the movie," said Wardle, "They would only work with us through a crisis management PR firm they hired, they would only consult with the brothers about a lawyer for I would say that the Jewish Board was extremely unhelpful. "

A spokesman for the Jewish Executive Committee declined to specifically address these allegations or answer questions regarding the publication of the study and replied Associated Press

I do not support the Neubauer study, and we deeply regret that it took place, "the statement said. We recognize the great courage of the people who participated in the film, and we are grateful that this film has created an opportunity for a public discourse on the study.

Several other pairs of twins involved in the study also found themselves, including Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein, who wrote memoirs in 2007, and Doug Rausch and Howard Burack, who appeared on "20/20." [19659002] "Most of the people I've talked to in the study just want to know: was anything learned?" Wardle said. "I and my producer sometimes dropped an interview." Oh my God, this story is incredible! can not believe it, and then you would think later: Actually, these were the lives of these guys, we need to remember that this was not just a great story, these guys have been through. "

Shafran, a lawyer Brooklyn, who has two children with his 30-year-old wife, criticizes the Jewish board for "keeping the whole thing a secret." Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…=view&id=167 His story was told as early as 1995 in a New York play about twins by Lawrence Wright, who made a book out of it, but aside from another documentary from last year, "The Twinning Reaction," the brothers had withdrawn to speak publicly, they said.

"We have not done anything since the lights went out, we have not done anything since Eddy died," Shafran said.

But "Three Identical Strangers" was an unexpectedly rewarding process for the brothers. Shafran remembers watching the panting faces of a Sundance crowd after their bizarre journey. The brothers were not very close at the time of filming, but the film helped fix their relationship.

"You do not get along with siblings as often as you like, it's just life," said Kellman, who works in the insurance industry and lives in New Jersey. Kellman, whose children are similar in age to Shafran, said he is divorcing.

And both are very impressed by Wardle's film They prefer their experience as documentary subjects for "laboratory rats".

But ask them for their own conclusions about what their story is in terms of nature versus education, and they are also a loss.

"It's very difficult for me to see this movie in an objective way," says Kellman. "In order to get into the nuances between the brothers as individuals, one would have to make a much longer movie, a movie that nobody would go through because it is our life."

Follow AP movie author Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP


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