Three Identical Strangers

Poster for Three Identical Strangers

A chance encounter brings three college-aged identical triplet brothers together nearly two decades after they were separated after birth and adopted by separate families. However, the elation at their reunion is soon undermined by the realities of fame and family—and a creeping suspicion that something sinister tore them from each other in the first place—in the Sundance Special Jury Prize–winning documentary Three Identical Strangers.

Robert Shafran arrives at college ready to reinvent himself, but when strangers continue to refer to him as “Eddy,” their welcomes quickly become unnerving. Robert soon finds himself face to face with his exact double: Eddy Galland. The pair’s astonishment at finding each other and the incredible story of their past and chance meeting is quickly picked up by local media, catching the attention of David Kellman, their identical triplet.

With the three brothers happily reunited and busy taking full advantage of their newfound celebrity—appearing in national newspaper headlines and in talk shows, and even playing cameo roles with Madonna in the 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan—their parents take up the less pleasant task of investigating what separated the three young men in the first place. When their questions are met with evasive and unsatisfactory responses from the triplets’ adoption agency, a larger conspiracy bubbles to the surface, with an indeterminate number of victims at play.

A film of triumph and tragedy, and a true testament to the investigatory power of documentary film, Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers leads its audience through an emotional journey and investigation of how we understand our families and ourselves.

“A gripping, stranger-than-fiction account of a real-world medical conspiracy, the film begins as a human-interest story and builds to an impressive work of investigative journalism into how and why they were placed with the families who raised them.” (Peter Debruge, Variety)

“This is a strange, ultimately quite distressing story touched by tragedy, told by Wardle with great skill and compassion in a brisk, consistently absorbing package.” (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter)