Think of the most unbelievable true story you’ve ever heard.
Times that by 100, and you’ve got the stranger-than-fiction tale of American triplets Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman. Now the subject of director Tim Wardle’s feature-length documentary, Three Identical Strangers tells the story of how fate brought the three together, despite having grown up with no knowledge of the other’s existence.
As Bobby retells in the trailer above, he was 19 years old and starting his first day at community college. “All these people were coming up to me saying ‘Eddy, how are you! Eddy, hi!’” he says. “I was like, ‘My name’s not Eddie, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”
Turns out they were confusing him with another guy on campus; his identical sibling Eddie, who he’d been separated from at birth. A crazy story, and one that was deemed worthy of a few local newspapers. But just when it couldn’t get any weirder, the article with accompanying photos was seen by another 19-year-old living in New York City—David Kellman, the third identical brother. The triplets reunited, everything was rosy, then as the trailer suggests, the whole situation took a dark turn as they began to probe into why they were separated in the first place, and why they weren’t told of the other’s existence. Opt out now if you want to be kept in the dark for a little while longer, ’cause here come the spoilers.
As you might’ve already guessed, the triplets were the subjects of a pretty twisted psychological study, and adopted out to three radically different families to test the nature/nurture dilemma that’s been plaguing philosophers, scientist and psychologists for decades. The new parents weren’t ever told that two other siblings existed, however, each allowed scientists to check in and track their development. You can’t write this stuff, but you can sure as hell make a documentary about it. Check out the trailer above, and keep your eyes peeled for Three Identical Strangers out in cinemas June 29.