THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

"Stunning, Bittersweet Reunion Story"

NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is a stunning documentary about three college-aged men who discover in 1980 they are triplets separated as infants and adopted by three different families as part of a twisted social experiment, and the good and bad consequences that resulted after they were reunited. Despite some tragic sides to the story, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS extols the power of family and the wonder of God’s creation, but contains some foul language and tales about partying when the triplets became famous.

Review:

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is a stunning documentary about three college-aged men who discover in 1980 they are triplets separated as infants and adopted by three different families as part of a twisted social experiment, as well as the good and bad consequences that resulted when they were reunited. Despite some tragic sides to the story, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS extols the power of family and the wonder of God’s creation, but contains some foul language and tales about partying when the triplets became famous.

The movie follows the story of three boys in three different cities with three very different upbringings. When they are 19-years-old, one of the three boys, named Robert Shafran, heads off to an obscure school in upstate New York, where he’s told he bears an eerie resemblance to a former student named Eddy Galland. The two young men, who were both adopted, meet. They are identical twins, mysteriously separated at birth, but overjoyed to be reunited.

Their story makes all the New York dailies, where another teenager, David Kellman, happens to see his face reflected not once, but twice, on the front pages. He contacts Robert and Eddy. The identical triplets, who were all placed with families through a prestigious Jewish adoption agency in Manhattan, became media sensations. Later, it’s revealed that at least one pair of sisters was subjected to the same atrocious treatment by the agency.

The first third of THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is a feel-good reunion documentary of lost brothers found through happenstance. Viewers see them making national television appearances, photographed partying together in countless newspaper and magazine photos as they go on the prowl nightly for women and drink, and the brothers laugh about these early memories as they tell their story of drunken promiscuity cavalierly. However, none of the talk or images are graphic. Eventually, all three brothers settled down and got married.

The movie then takes a darker turn as the brothers recount that their adoptive parents wanted to know why they were separated and put up for adoption apart from each other. The answers they found are shocking yet again, but Director Tim Wardle handles it all with great class. [SPOILER FOLLOWS] The movie ultimately takes a tragic turn, when it turns out one of the three brothers was more emotionally troubled and killed himself.

Overall, however, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is a fascinating, suspenseful cautionary tale of a sad, but hopefully rare, situation in America’s adoption system. As such, it offers a riveting tale that extols the power of family and the wonder of God’s creation in how these triplets instantly bonded to each other with great affection from the moment they’re reunited as college sophomores. It also shines a light on humanist liberals in a prominent New York adoption agency who conducted twisted social experiments distorting family structures.

Caution is advised due to some foul language and stories about excessive partying.

Content:

(BB, Pa, ACAC, LL, V, S, AA, D, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview overall extols the power of family and the wonder of God’s creation, but contains some foul language and tales about partying when the triplets became famous, plus documentary shines a light on a prominent New York adoption agency that conducted twisted social experiments on children;

Foul Language:
Six obscenities and eight profanities, include two GDs;

Violence:
Talk about a suicide;

Sex:
Some discussion of partying, with references to wine, women, and song such as having “luck with women” and having “different women every night,” but not graphic;

Nudity:
No nudity;

Alcohol Use:
Mention of alcohol use and drunkenness;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Some smoking but no drug references; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Humanist psychologist working for an adoption agency abused his power.

In Brief:

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is a stunning documentary about three college-aged men who discover they are triplets separated as infants and adopted by three different families. When they are 19-years-old in 1980, one boy, Robert, journeys to an obscure school in Upstate New York, where he’s told he looks like a former student named Eddy. The two young men, both adopted, meet. They’re identical twins, separated at birth, but overjoyed to be reunited. Their story makes the news, and another teenager, David, happens to see his face reflected twice, on the front pages. He contacts Robert and Eddy, and the identical triplets become media sensations.

The first third of THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is a feel-good reunion of lost brothers. The movie takes a darker turn as the brothers and their adoptive parents discover why they were separated and put up for adoption apart from each other. The answers they find are shocking and disturbing. THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS extols the power of family and the wonder of God’s creation, but contains some foul language and tales about partying when the triplets became famous.