THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (Tim Wardle, 2018)
260 West 23rd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Thursday, November 8, 6:15
Friday, November 9, 10:15 am
Festival runs November 8-15
At the beginning of Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers, screening November 8 and 9 at the ninth annual DOC NYC festival, Bobby Shafran says, “When I tell people my story, they don’t believe it. I guess I wouldn’t believe the story if someone else were telling it, but I’m telling it. And it’s true, every word of it.” He then discusses how, in 1980, through a series of coincidences, he discovered that he was an adopted triplet, and the three brothers, born on July 12, 1961, became the best of friends, going on a media blitz and taking New York City by storm. That in itself is a great story, but that’s only the first part of this gripping movie; what follows is a thriller-like investigation into the lives of Edward Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran involving why they were separated at birth by the Louise Wise Services adoption agency. It’s an utterly captivating film, as every time you think the story can’t get more bizarre, it does. Wardle speaks with many members of the three boys’ adopted families, journalists, and several people who were involved in the nature/nurture experiment that separated them; it’s absolutely heart-wrenching watching them learn what happened to them back in 1961 that changed their lives forever and ultimately resulted in tragedy — and the full truth is still not known. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance among awards at many other festivals, Three Identical Strangers is screening in the Short List section of DOC NYC, with Wardle present at both shows.