As curious as it is frequently infuriating, Three Identical Strangers takes its fascinating subject(s) to altogether captivating places.
An incredulous true story that you could dismiss had it turned up in the fiction shelves, three barely distinguishable brothers, separated at birth, are abruptly reunited in their formative years. Pieced together from home video footage, interviews and accounts from family members and else, the reasons for the circumstance, following their separation in the early 60’s, is soon revealed to shocking effect.
Commencing with lighter and duly hilarious fare which contrasts their similarities and foibles as well as that readily apparent and less discernibly common, a chronicling of their early ‘viral’ popularity, and even brief appearance in a film, will leave you chuckling to no end. A novel sense of intrigue accompanies the retelling as well as an irregular focus on the nature versus nurture debate, which forms a key if overstatedly significant aspect of their story, the most involving aspects of which ultimately turn on the investigation itself into the unique events which saw the three separated at only six months of age.
Galling to no end, the more heated analogies drawn by some interviewees as regards the nature of those responsible for their predicament regardless of salient details made apparent about they who orchestrated it will not appear undeserved nor unwarranted to many. Focusing at numerous key instances on the Jewish religious identity of the brothers and many others involved, one subject deftly highlights the emotive crux that will leave many an audience seething, centring on how those of the brothers’ particular background and recent history above and beyond recognise a fatal evil in individuals, families and indeed such siblings being treated in the manner depicted irrespective of the stated purpose.
Latching on to this key tenet and exploring throughout and in tandem the consequentially emotional, practical, laugh-filled and all too tragic implications of their separation, Three Identical Strangers recommends itself not just for it’s distinctive focus but the consummate manner of it’s execution.
Three Identical Strangers screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival