Newsweek

Director Tim Wardle on 'Three Identical Strangers'

A new documentary reveals a psychologist’s secret study, and the devastating effect on its subjects David Kellman, Robert Shafran and Eddy Galland.
From left, Eddy Galland, David Kellman and Bobby Shafran in "Three Identical Strangers," soon after they were reunited.
CUL_Strangers_01_PR Source: COURTESY OF NEON

Documentaries often boast “unbelievable” tales, but they rarely deliver. Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers actually lives up to its billing. It’s “the single best story I’ve ever come across,” says the director.

If you lived in New York City in the 1980s, the first half-hour of his film may be familiar. Three 19-year-old men became local celebrities after they discovered they were triplets separated at birth: Bobby Shafran met his mirror image, Eddy Galland, after he was mistaken for him at Sullivan County Community College in 1980. (Galland had dropped out the previous semester.) Once introduced, they assumed they were twins—until David Kellman saw their photo, his face times two, in a local paper reporting on Shafran and Galland’s reunion.

The media andandclip after clip of the three brothers on talk shows in matching clothes. Shafran and Kellman are interviewed throughout the film, but something is off: Where’s Galland?

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