Three Identical Strangers tells the bizarre and heartbreaking story of triplets who discover each other by accident, only to uncover a much darker twist to their estranged lives.
Edward, Robert and David, while being identical triplets, grew up never knowing each other as they were adopted by different families at birth. All three also grew up in different social classes, with each one living to a different standard of life. While the triplets experienced the upper, middle and lower class life individually, they all shared remarkably similar mannerisms and choices; like the brand of cigarettes they smoked and their tastes in women. As the fascination with their story grew, so did their fame, as they made the rounds on all the major TV shows of the time.
Using this footage, great editing and uplifting songs from that era, director Tim Wardle manages to recreate the global interest and joy felt in finding each other by both the boys and the public at the time. Wardle also utilises very honest, heartwarming interviews with relatives and friends of Edward, Robert and David.
Over the first hour of the documentary, you pretty much get the gist of the story and start to wonder “is this it?”. While it’s enthralling looking at the boys, with their dazzling smiles, meaty hands and curly hair, you begin to look for more. Very quickly you soon realise there is SO much more and nothing is a coincidence. Without giving too much away, Wardle uses a pretty obvious clue by only including two of the three triplets. Also, he withholds key elements to their story that explains the actions of the adoption agency which were much more calculated than they initially appeared to be.
I had no previous knowledge of this story before watching Three Identical Strangers and I think I was the perfect viewer in that sense. I thoroughly enjoyed the lighthearted, genuine interviews of all those involved but also, really connected with the shocking, conspiracy-like direction this documentary took. It’s an emotional ride, as you feel amazement and burning anger as the story unfolds. Ultimately, the film ends with the hope of justice and closure for all those involved.
Won the ‘Special Jury Prize’ at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.