Watch Three Identical Strangers
- 1 hr 36 min
In 1980, identical triplets Bobby, Eddy, and David each discovered the existence of the others after being adopted by different families and split apart at birth. What follows in the documentary Three Identical Strangers is a gripping exploration of family, identity, and the weight of secrets. The first half of the film focuses on the joyous reunion of the brothers, who become overnight celebrities in the New York City party scene. The media frenzy surrounding their discovery is documented with an array of archival footage, and the familial bond between the triplets is a heartwarming sight to behold. Interviews with family members and friends give insight into the brothers' personalities and upbringings, but also hint at a darker side to their story.
As the filmmakers dig deeper into the brothers' separation, the plot thickens. The adoption agency that placed them, the Louise Wise Services, had a history of using controversial methods to study nature vs. nurture in adoptive families. The revelation that the triplets were intentionally separated as part of a secret study shocks the audience and sets the stage for a haunting exploration of the ethics and consequences of such experimentation.
The second half of the film exposes the disturbing truth behind the study, which involved the Yale-affiliated psychiatrist Dr. Peter Neubauer and his team observing Bobby, Eddy, and David from infancy until adulthood without their knowledge or consent. Interviews with former subjects of the study, experts in the field, and Neubauer's colleagues shed light on the motivations and methods behind the research and raise questions about the validity and ethics of studying separated siblings.
Director Tim Wardle masterfully weaves together interviews, reenactments, and archival footage to create a compelling narrative that balances heartwarming moments with gut-wrenching revelations. The film invites the viewer to grapple with complex ethical dilemmas and raises important questions about the power of science and the responsibility of researchers to their subjects.
Throughout the documentary, the bond between Bobby, Eddy, and David remains a beacon of hope and resilience, even as the secrets of their past threaten to unravel their sense of self and family. Their story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked manipulation and a testament to the enduring strength of brotherhood.
Three Identical Strangers is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 81.