"Three Lives into One”
A Review of "Three Identical Strangers” by Nathan H. Box
Recommendation: 5 Stars, SHOWTIME
Director: Tim Wardle, Starring: Silvi Alzetta-Reali, Eddy Galland, Ron Guttman
Plot: New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds' joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but it also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives - and could transform our understanding of human nature forever.
Review: “Three Identical Strangers” is a documentary so unbelievable that you are immediately left with a simple thought, “I would totally see a fictional drama about something like this.” Yet, this film is stranger than fiction and it begins with triplets separated at birth. From there, it goes on to tell a story that ends up being one of the most compelling and enthralling documentaries of the year.
Every day in this country, children are placed in the hands of the foster care system. Undoubtedly, some of those children are twins and triplets. From what I gather, adoption agencies work diligently to keep children together. This film is focused on a single Jewish agency in New York who worked to separate twins and triplets as part of some grand experiment. Seemingly, they would have gotten away with it if it had not been a chance encounter that led strangers to discover they are twins. Naturally, a story like this caught fire and national attention. Which led the third brother to discover he is a triplet.
As the brothers blend three lives into one, we get the impression that the story ends there. Except, it doesn’t. Background matters and the research of a tireless journalist reveals there is more to the story. Now, it is hard to say much more about this film without spoiling some really well-placed turns in the story. So, stop reading here, if you want to save the surprise for yourself.
What begins as a reunion, naturally turns into a journey to find a birth mother. This unleashes a series of events where we discover the triplets, among other twins, were separated at birth as part of some nature versus nurture experiment unbeknownst to their adoptive parents or the children themselves.
What is revealed raises serious ethical questions about studies on human subjects. At the end of the day, I think this is one of the primary jobs for a documentary. You should leave the theater questioning the world in which you live. This film does that profoundly well. It keeps you guessing and gasping for the entire film. For that, I recommend you see it as soon as possible.
Be good to each other,
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