Screened as part of NZIFF 2018

Three Identical Strangers 2018

Directed by Tim Wardle Framing Reality

‘Stranger than fiction’ doesn’t come close. In an age of hot takes and hype machinery, this mind-blowing doco is the rare WTF true story entirely worthy of its breathless hyperbole.

UK In English
96 minutes DCP



Grace Hughes-Hallett
Becky Read


Tim Cragg


Michael Harte


Paul Saunderson


Bobby Shafran
David Kellman
Lawrence Wright


San Francisco
Hot Docs
Sydney 2018

In 1980 a 19-year-old college freshman named Bobby arrives at his new campus for the first time, only to be immediately recognised as someone else – an ex-student named Eddy. Within 24 hours, Bobby and Eddy are standing face-to-face: two identical twins, given to separate adoptive families at birth, each completely unaware of the other’s existence. Their heartwarming discovery makes the front page of the paper, only to catch the attention of David, another 19-year-old who bears a similarly striking resemblance. Before they have even adjusted to their finding, the two long-lost brothers are welcoming in a third.

In Tim Wardle’s utterly riveting docu-thriller, it would seem that truth really is stranger than fiction. The craziest part of the story is that the aforementioned triplet reunion isn’t even the craziest part of the story. Bobby, Eddy and David’s surprise encounter is only the jumping-off point for a string of bombshells that just don’t stop coming; to reveal any more here would be a serious disservice to the viewer. But what elevates Wardle’s film are the genuinely meaty questions that linger beneath its sensational headline, a slippery debate between nature and nurture underpinning every breathless twist and turn. In a film of relentless revelations, it’s the truths left dangling that truly linger. — JF

“What begins as a light and fluffy, too-weird-to-be-fiction story goes unimaginably deeper, stranger, darker. It’s best to go in as cold as possible, to try (and likely fail) to guess what comes next… Prepare for a wild, twisting non-fiction ride.” — Brent McKnight, Seattle Times