Three Identical Strangers ★★★★

Imagine waking up one day believing you were completely unique, truly one of a kind. Then suddenly realising that you were actually part of identical triplets. And not only do you all look alike, but you also share the same interests, have the same mannerisms and even smoke the same brand of cigarettes. Now, if this sounds like it’s a plot of a crazy larger than life comedy, then think again.

This extraordinary tale actually did happen to three young men and their story is explored in Three Identical Strangers. Directed by Tim Wardle, this extraordinary documentary starts off as a feelgood human interest story, but by the end, it will leave the viewer questioning “what makes you, you?” Wardle’s approach to telling this story is highly imaginative and visual, allowing the images and footage to speak for itself. It is clear that Wardle is interested in the subject matter (or should that be subject matters) and even those who aren’t the biggest fans of documentaries will find this one, very appealing.

Three Identical Strangers begins in 1980, with 19-year-old Bobby Shafran. Bobby attends his first day of university only to find his new classmates greeting him as ‘Eddy’, acting like they’ve known him for years despite it being the first time that they have met. In order to capture how surreal this even must have been, the director decides to tell the first half of the documentary through narration and recreated scenes. The viewer becomes immersed in this moment and is invested in the events that are playing out. Bobby and Eddy are introduced face to face, and there’s no denying that these two young men must be related. However, things take another unexpected turn when Bobby and Eddy meet and are contacted by David, whose adoptive mother noticed a pair of twins in the newspaper who looked exactly like her son.

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