Now in his graying late fifties, Bobby Shafran is an affable, ordinary guy whose life escaped him in 1980, when the 19-year-old freshman drove his battered Volvo to the New York folk high school. He was confused about being greeted by fellow students who called him Eddy. It quickly turned out that he was a dead wrestler for another student at the college called Eddy Galland, who turned out to be the twin Bobby never knew. The discovery came in the local press and soon appeared a third doppelganger, David Kellman. The identical triplets, all adopted by different families, rejoined joyfully and were only too happy to adopt the fairytale collective identity given them by the television talk shows. At that time it really started to get strange, and not only because neither the boys nor their adoptive parents knew that other siblings existed
If Three Identical Strangers – an extraordinary documentary about the three brothers of British director Tim Wardle – was all about the immortal charm of identical offspring, it would still be a captivating story. The demonstrable equality of siblings hatched from the same egg excites the friction between our insistence on individual uniqueness and our desire for a mirror-image Other that understands and defends us and keeps us company forever. That's the fantasy.
It did not hurt that the three boys, as we see in home movies and excerpts from the TV talk show, were telegenic teddy bears with liquid brown eyes, tons of black curly hair and a shy camera ready to grin. Presented to an enthusiastic audience, they dutifully appeared in the same outfits, crossing their legs on demand, and were under pressure to have the same taste in women. Everyone had struggled in high school, and was not it amazing that they adopted all the sisters? Bobby, Eddy and David made the nightclubs, married and opened a restaurant together. Their celebrity status was based on their equality, and as long as they could play with the packaging, everything was so super-cute. Until it was not so, and here the story of the boys or stories (the plural burst with meaning), went from amazing to unbelievable to very, very dark.
At first glance Three Identical Strangers presents a straight-ahead documentary with the usual mix of home and media recordings, Re In fact, the film is an artfully constructed investigative narrative structured in such a way that together with the boys and their families we discover multiple layers of buried secrets and lies who can spoil their adult lives. If ever a story requires multiple narratives and digs deep into the past, it is these. The triplets have repeatedly lost identities and began cataclysmic renewal – once at birth, then again when they met and got into a media circus, and then, as new information unfolded their history apart and together, in a bill that one of Dissolving Them
From the moment they were born, as the film shows, the adoptive families turned off the occasional abuse of power, from the adoption agency that hid their biological origin and their triplet status, to the scientists they used as guinea pigs Study of nature versus food that was never published, the media they imprisoned in a fairytale that they could never fulfill. As I watched these families being distorted by the public, I recalled Andrew Jarecki's equally captivating 2003 doctor Capturing the Friedmans in which an already distressed Long Island family involved in child abuse was further crucified The police, the courts, the media, and their local community in court
Wardle captures the outrage of families over what they have been denied. For the historical context, he also sensitizes journalist Lawrence Wright, who wrote a book on twin studies, as well as former investigators of the study, to show that ethical concerns over privacy and disclosure in the 1960s are less reflected in professional practice today. Nevertheless, the interpretation of the past through re-enactment can be difficult. The adoption agency is now closed, and there is no one who could check the dramatized memory of an adoptive father who remembers stumbling aboard members who joined each other after a meeting in which they pacified angry parents with half-truths Staring at champagne] In another twist to a serpentine story that Wardle follows like a thriller, we learn that the triplets had one thing in common: all had difficult passages from childhood to youth, but their manifestations varied from boy to boy. All three grew up in Jewish families, but they spanned the classroom and their parenting styles varied, with a disciplinary father blaming his son for his emotional instability. When a former researcher reads from the notes he made during the test, we learn so much about the careless parenting blame that prevailed among psychologists after the Second World War about the boys' early difficulties.
Once the film goes into depth crap how vulnerable the triplets are to forces that elude their control, the differences between them become hard, and even the similarities do not match the fable of happy likeness into which the Media they have wrapped. This is where the debate about nature care heats up, and the film's pendulum swings from inheritance to environment as we witness the different fates that befell the three men. "It's all about the care!" exclaims a relative. Not all this nuanced film makes it clear. And in a puzzled, terrified cry of a triplet about a lost brother, "Why he and not I? I do not know," comes the hint that there is nature, and that there is food and beyond, both are the unfathomable secrets of the human character : Who succumbs to the trauma and who survives, and what survival means when you have lost your flesh and blood many times.
Towards the End Three Identical Strangers Wardle brings two brothers together to inspect new information about their past on a laptop. What they discover is disturbing enough, but what really breaks the auditor's heart is the nervous discomfort with which they greet each other, two identical strangers who were once close, but have not seen each other for some time, and seemingly one lost thing we suppose twins can count on. Trust.