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Three Identical Strangers is an engrossing and heartbreaking tale about brothers separated at birth

This undated photo shows Eddy Galland, from left, David Kellman and Bobby Shafran, three brothers who learned at 19 that they had been separated at birth.

courtesy of NEON

  • Three Identical Strangers
  • Directed by: Tim Wardle
  • Classification: PG; 96 minutes

rating

Three boys. Three different cities. Three very different upbringings. When they are 19 years old, one of the three boys (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 (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 teen, David Kellman, happens to see his face reflected not once, but twice, on the front pages. He contacts them. The identical triplets, who were all placed with families through a prestigious Jewish adoption agency in Manhattan, become media sensations.

The first third of Three Identical Strangers is a feel-good reunion documentary of lost brothers found through happenstance. But once the euphoria passes, director Tim Wardle takes his audience on an engrossing, heartbreaking journey into the lives of three innocents whose lives became experiments for scientists on a quest to unravel how identity is shaped. Sadly, in their zeal to figure out if nurture or nature wins, they forgot the human beings in the middle of the mix.

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