The inciting incident of Tim Wardle’s “Three Identical Strangers” would be more than enough to fuel a wild true-life tale, but what’s perhaps most surprising about the new documentary is that it just keeps going into still-crazier territory. And it’s all true. The film’s first trailer lays it all out well enough: a teenager heads off to college, and is surprised to find that everyone at his new home seems to know him, but they know him by another name. So who do they think he is?
It doesn’t take too long for Wardle’s film to get to it, as young Bobby Shafran very quickly discovers that he shares more than just his looks with a stranger named Eddie Galland, they also share a birthday and a past (and, okay, parents, too). The pair were both adopted when they were babies, and it seems to just be wild chance that they’ve run into each other. And then another familiar stranger shows up, and the mystery only deepens.
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The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year, where it picked up a Special Jury Award for Storytelling and was acquired by NEON. At the festival, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote that it’s a “competent documentary [that] surveys this bizarre phenomenon through the experiences of the men as they entered young adulthood under the most unlikely of circumstances, while the mystery surrounding their infancy deepens as new information comes to light.”
As Kohn noted, the film “doesn’t open a new chapter in this decade-spanning case so much as it consolidates the various twists and turns, including the revelation that…transforms the movie from a weird-but-true tale of sibling bonding into a conspiratorial thriller.” It’s a shocker.
Check out the first trailer for NEON’s “Three Identical Strangers” below.
“Three Identical Strangers” will hit theaters on June 29.