Three Identical Strangers

three_identical_strangers_2_-_photo_courtesy_of_neon
Photo courtesy of Neon

Dash out and see the fascinating and moving Three Identical Strangers as soon as you can, before you’ve heard a lot about it. It would be criminal to reveal too much, but suffice to say it’s a documentary about Eddy Galland, David Kellman, and Bobby Shafran, identical triplets who were separated at birth and adopted by different families. They discovered each other in 1980, when Eddy and Bobby went to the same college in upstate New York. Eddy went one year, and the next year, when Bobby arrived as a freshman, he was startled to be greeted by complete strangers as an old friend. The two boys met, and the media picked up on the incredible feel-good story. Soon the third triplet, David, saw his own face on two strangers grinning at him from a newspaper, and he got in touch. As one of the adoptive mothers said, “They’re coming out of the woodwork!” The three boys became instant and inseparable soulmates.

All the above happens in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the film, with the help of some re-enactments (I’m not usually a fan of re-enactments in a documentary, but these are minimal and unobtrusive). After that, as one family friend says, things “kinda got funky.” The rest of the narrative is told through interviews with the brothers, their loved ones, and other key players, supplemented with terrific archival photos and video footage. The plot thickens, twists, and twists a few more times, right up to the end, so strap on your seat belt, and maybe bring a hankie.

Bobby Shafran: This is like Nazi sh**.

—  Three Identical Strangers

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