Three Identical Strangers

Several weeks ago, my husband and I went to see the documentary “Three Identical Strangers”.

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As is often the case I find documentaries more interesting than the usual summer popcorn blockbuster fair. That was certainly the case with this film, I found it a thousand percent more interesting than giving Disney and Marvel my money for yet another superhero movie.

The basis for the documentary is fascinating. In their early 20’s three men find out they are identical triplets who were each adopted by a different family. On the surface the film sounds like a feel-good story and for the first forty-five minutes it is.

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It is truly amazing that these three men found each other, and it is fun to see how much they have had in common despite not meeting until early adulthood. Early on the film seems to push the idea the nature is more important than nurture. However, right before the half-way point the film takes a dark turn.

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Spoilers ahead!

What begins as a feel-good story tuns into more of a tragedy. The three men begin to show differences instead of just magical similarities and not always in a positive way. The three men meet their birth mother and it’s clear one thing they have in common with her are personal struggles. As each man marries and navigates adult life it becomes increasingly clear that nature was just as important as nurture. One man had a difficult father and his life struggles are much more than the triplet who had the supportive father. In a way their story is fascinating and is almost like a perfect psychological study and that’s because it was. As more layers are revealed they and we learn that they are separated on purpose and then studied as they grew up. Their adoptive parents had no idea that they were adopting a boy who was one of three triplets. The three men were not only robbed of each other, but they were robbed of a certain amount of their humanity by being treated as no more than an animal that needed to be study. The film will give you a lot to think and talk about in terms of family, genetics and morality.

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I highly, highly recommend “Three Identical Strangers” for anybody who liked a good documentary film or anybody who has an interested in psychology and the eternal nature vs nurture debate.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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