Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Three Identical Strangers

When an incredible story appears in the news, and then becomes even more extraordinary, you would naturally assume that a documentary will follow in due course. However, this is not always the case and it can take years and years for the full facts to come out. There are often licencing and access issues which prevent a film-maker bringing a project to fruition, and then there’s the financing. Three Identical Strangers has been a long time coming but well worth the wait.

In 1980, Robert Shafran arrives at his new community college with excitement and trepidation. The welcome he gets is much warmer than he expected. Complete strangers are accosting him like an old friend. He soon discovers the reason why. It turns out that Eddy Galland, who studied their last year, is not only his spitting image but his identical twin brother. Things becomes even stranger when, after reading an article about it in a newspaper, David Kellman realises that he’s part of monozygotic triplets.

Three Identical Strangers is a remarkable documentary which tells the almost unbelievable true story of brothers who only found each other at the age of nineteen. Raised by three different families with distinctly disparate backgrounds, it soon becomes apparent that there’s a dark secret behind this good new story. Tim Wardle’s documentary breaks new ground and updates the story to the current day. Using interviews and archive footage, Three Identical Twins is a fascinating insight into a jaw-dropping tale.

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