Blu-ray Review: Three Identical Strangers

Unbelievable if it weren’t true, the documentary Three Identical Strangers tells the story of triplets separated at birth and reunited by happenstance at nineteen. None of the young men–or their families–knew about the other, which lead to a lot of questions and changed the lives of those involved in innumerable ways. Director Tim Wardle follows a story that starts out as a joyous reunion and devolves into a human tragedy with more questions than answers.

Using a mix of archival footage, recent interviews and a few unnecessary fictional recreations, Wardle lays out the incredible story: In 1980, Robert Shafran arrived at Sullivan County Community College in New York for his first semester. He didn’t know a soul there, but oddly, guys were greeting him enthusiastically, girls were kissing him, everyone called him Eddy. When he met fellow student Michael Domnitz, his life changed forever. Michael knew the Eddy everyone was talking about and insisted they drive to Long Island to meet him. It turned out that Eddy was Bobby’s (as he was known), long-lost twin. Suddenly, each had a brother they never knew existed. The story gets even more complicated with the discovery of triplet David Kellman. There’s some shock, but the boys are thrilled and bond immediately. The press is fascinated by the story; the twins appear on talk shows that marvel at their similarities: they smoked the same cigarettes, shared the same taste in women.

From there Three Identical Strangers takes a much darker turn, as the question of why they were adopted separately is raised. This is the point where the film gets truly captivating and at times, hard to take. To divulge much in the way of details would deprive the viewer of watching it all play it out. Suffice to say, it raises a lot of questions about morality versus science.

Tim Wardle does a good job editing together interviews with the boys, family members and friends to provide a cohesive story. While I found the occasional use of reenactments a bit clunky, he uses them sparingly to emphasize an important point. Wardle keeps the emphasis on the triplets and their story, which is ultimately what makes Three Identical Strangers such an absorbing film.

Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this is a solid 1080p documentary transfer. The interview setups are simple, focusing solely on the subject. The recreations have a purposeful hazy effect, allowing easy distinction from other footage. Overall, the image quality is superb in every aspect and presents no apparent flaws.

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 track is wonderful. Every channel is in use, providing a full sound. Every sound, cars, music, the clangs of the city, are apparent throughout. The interviews are crisp, with clean, clear and concise dialogue throughout. English SDH subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Time Wardle and Editor Michael Harte
  • Q&A with David Kellman, Robert Shafran, Brenda Galland, Ellen Cervone, and Director Tom Wardle
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailer
  • Digital HD

Movie title: Three Identical Strangers (2018)

Director(s): Tim Wardle

Actor(s): Eddy Galland , Robert Shafran , David Kellman

Genre: Documentary, Biography

  • Movie
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  • Extras