Three Identical Strangers (2018)
July 17, 2018 10:53 PM - Subscribe

New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds' joyous reunion catapults them to international fame..
posted by k8t (13 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, what a film!

I was bad and read a bunch before seeing it.
Here are some links.
posted by k8t at 10:54 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Did it bother anyone else that the business was called Triplet's? Apostrophe angst!
posted by k8t at 10:56 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I loved it when one of them used another's name for a medical procedure.
posted by k8t at 10:59 PM on July 17, 2018

The Ann Arbor based psychiatrist who was a research assistant was evil!
posted by k8t at 10:59 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

They were quadruplets actually! And Bobby pled guilty to murder!

Old news article. Court case.
posted by k8t at 11:03 PM on July 17, 2018

Neubauer was no different from Mengele...and as a Jew who escaped the Nazis, shame on him.
posted by brujita at 9:22 AM on July 18, 2018

When they found their birth record it said triplets.
posted by brujita at 11:53 AM on July 18, 2018

Yeah, apparently one baby died during labor.
posted by k8t at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2018

In movie night out without the kids we went to this, my wife's choice, rather than mine, Sorry to Bother You. I think I would have liked my choice better but still liked this one. It had some additional impact on us as adoptive parents and my wife as an adoptee (who has never been interested in finding her birth parents).

I thought they did a nice job of creating an ongoing narrative and series of reveals without being obnoxious about it. My wife was shocked by the revelation that the placements weren't random and that the older siblings played a part in that. I'd seen it coming in some sense by their hit on mentioning the similarity in older sisters and ages, as well as including that in the segment where they included it in a montage of bits before an earlier reveal.

I was a little disappointed that they didn't spend any time at all on the concept of ethics boards and reviews and the changes in approaches in the subsequent decades. This came about before the Stanford Prison Experiment - but not by much - and was unearthed well past the point where informed consent was required. But my recall of that whole structure has faded in the decades since college so I would have been interested in a little contextualizing and coverage of that. I suspect that wasn't covered because it would muddy the angle the doc clearly had asserting that this was gross and unethical, which is about my only grump with it. Not that I disagree with that, but the only time a contrary viewpoint gets on this is two people - the assistant and the researcher - who both come across as pretty... maybe not uncaring, but at least sort of laisse a faire, let's say.
posted by phearlez at 2:30 PM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just came home having watched it on a whim with no warning. I certainly enjoyed the slow reveal ... And I feel like I vaguely remember the story from the talk shows.
I felt the filmmakers tried to lay the blame for the suicide on the father which I felt was unjustified given what else we know had an impact on his life.
I think it is interesting that at the first the parents were angry and the sons were not. They knew what the boys lost.
posted by chapps at 10:07 PM on July 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Me and mine (an adoptee, with a son with mental illness) just watched this. I felt it was masterful in how everything unfolded and yet I wished they'd used the chyrons more because I had trouble keeping the family/friend people straight. I was also VERY curious how they decided who to speak with (no older sisters? no kids?) and who not to. I wanted to know more about the "I went to Switzerland" lady and more about the research assistant guy who had some of the notes somewhere in his house?? Because both of them were like "It was a different time" and I was like "Was it?" It seemed like the theory that it was all about kids adopted from mothers with mental illness was a thing that was touched on but ultimately the last word was "no it wasn't" As much as I liked that they had gotten access to their heavily redacted records, I wish the movie had been able to give more details about other things they may have found out (besides the lazy eye thing that is in one of the articles linked above).

I remember knowing about these guys at the time, remember seeing them in Desperately Seeking Susan and then knowing something had gone wrong but not remembering what it was so I was able to go into this movie cold just like the movie's creators suggested.
posted by jessamyn at 9:49 AM on January 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah, we watched this one together, jessamyn and I. I had no idea what i was in for. The triplets sorta skirted my media radar at the time—so I came into this doc thinking it was going to be a sorta feelgood way of delving into different perspectives about the ol' nature v. nurture debate...

Oh but I got so much more than I ever wanted. This was excellent but grim and foggy and very well-produced.

(I'm soon going to meet my BioMom... BioMom's one of two sets of fraternal twins in her Jewish family, and grew up in Upstate NY near the Tappan Zee—so I guess I was lucky to have been born a singleton to a mentally-stable woman going to school in Boston. My BioDad and I haven't met yet either—I've met them both on Zoom—but I can pick out mannerisms from both of them just as much as differences. But the mannerisms thing, across a generation, that's what struck me on a personal level. There is a level of selection bias, I agree, in spotting the similarities and favoring them over neutral or negative similarities, or plain differences... but there's definitely wierd unexpectedly genetic influences at work. No triplets necessary to confirm that.)

But yeah this movie was like a kick in the stomach.
posted by not_on_display at 10:26 PM on January 10, 2022

I watched this today. Great doc. I liked the slow reveals. I'm an identical twin and lost my brother last year. So this hit close to home.
posted by Stuka at 6:33 PM on August 16, 2023

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