This feature documentary tells the stranger-than-fiction story of triplet brothers separated at birth and secretly sent to different families across the state of New York in the 1960s. Nineteen years later bizarre coincidence brings them together and catapults them to celebrity status. But what starts as a heart-warming human-interest story of reunion, turns into a heart-breaking tale of tragedy.
Directed by Tim Wardle, Three Identical Strangers’ captivating narrative is expertly unfolded to illicit utmost intrigue, and with each shocking revelation comes a new wave of emotion. Joy turns to horror as the film unravels a web of conspiracies knotted around shady psychological studies worthy of The X Files, sending the filmmakers and the brothers on an investigation to dig up the truth of their upbringing and question the very nature of human existence.
Visually the film is pretty standard – not especially cinematic – with dramatic reconstructions to enliven some of the contributors’ anecdotes, while a cheesy 80s soft-rock soundtrack sets the tone for the exuberant first act. As with many documentaries, artificially framing truth can be problematic, and on occasion the film may draw the audience to some unfair conclusions.
But Three Identical Strangers is an incredible story very well told, with a beating heart of charming and engaging characters united by a shared yet separate past. While the film’s quest for truth ultimately finds more questions than answers, it’s a satisfying and thought-provoking journey with a tantalizingly out-of-reach destination.
Three Identical Strangers recently won the Dorfman Best Film Award at the 22nd UK International Jewish Film Festival, and will be released in UK cinemas on 30th November through Dogwoof.
The 22nd UK International Jewish Film Festival takes place between 8th-22nd November 2018 at cinemas across London, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow http://ukjewishfilm.org/
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