Three Identical Strangers tells the crazy but true and sad story of Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman.
The three of them were separated at birth when they were adopted by three different families. Bobby was sent off to live with the affluent Shafran family. Eddy went to the middle class Gallands. As for David, he went to live with the blue-collar Kellmans. All were adopted by Jewish families who had an older daughter living with them, also adopted.
Where this story gets strange and sad isn’t that their birth mother gave them up for adoption but that the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services did so with the Louise Wise Services, a preeminent adoption agency at the time, in the name of science. What they did isn’t just mind-boggling but also unethical! How do you call yourself a Jewish agency and pull this sort of stunt.
It’s not until the wives are introduced a half hour in when one realizes that people are talking about Eddy in past tense as if one starts getting this sense of tragedy. It’s sad to watch as things unfold on screen. Eddy was diagnosed with manic depression and one can only wonder what would have happened if the three bothers would have grown up together.
Instead, they only learned they were brothers in 1980. This led to the trio becoming a media sensation and later starting their own restaurant, Triplets. The restaurant would later ruin their relationship.
I’ll have more to say about this film when it’s released in late June.
DIRECTOR: Tim Wardle
FEATURING: Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, David Kellman
An official selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, Three Identical Strangers held its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Neon will release the film on June 29, 2018.