Three Identical Strangers

Three Identical Strangers

It has all the makings of a fairy tale. In 1980, at age 19, two adopted identical brothers meet through happenstance as they are registered on the same college campus. They compare birthdates and the little that they know about their adoptions, confirming that they are, in fact, identical twins. The two become instant news, only to be joined by a third identical sibling, also born on the same day through the same adoption agency. Adopted at six months old, the three young men grew up within a 100-block radius of each other.

The brothers quickly become a celebrity trio with photos and footages published across the country’s newspapers and tabloids. They give interviews on primetime television and newscasts. They open their own restaurant in New York. Each falls in love and marries. It really is too good to be true.

The viewer is quickly endeared to the brothers and their adoptive families. But pieces seem to be missing, even as the narrative loops back again and again to the footage and the obvious joy the brothers have in finding each other.

Director Tim Wardle crafts the documentary around interviews with the brothers, their parents, and their wives. There is a turning point at which the viewer, drawn into the narrative, realizes this story is not going to have the happily-ever-after ending one might wish for. When truth comes out of the shadows, ethical and moral questions surface. This is a disturbing yet important story. Post-movie notes indicate that the movie itself has already resulted in action that might lead to truth telling. On disc now. (Neon)

About the Author

Jenny de Groot is a teacher/librarian in Langley, British Columbia.

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