Documentary Film “Three Identical Strangers” Analysis
The documentary film “Three Identical Strangers,” is about triplets who have been separated at birth, reunited after 19 years. The story started when Bobby Shafran arrived on his first day at the university. His life became weird afterward. Students that he had never met acted as if they knew each other. Lastly, he was being addressed as Eddy. Once he got to his dorm, a student named Michael went by.
The moment Bobby turned; Michael could not believe it. The only words that came out were if Bobby was adopted and if so, what is the date of birth. He replied with a yes and date of birth is July 12, 1961. The first time Bobby heard he has a twin name, Eddy happened. Bobby phoned Eddy and met. Their reunion was on the front page of the local newspaper. Not long after, David discovered it and phoned Eddy.
The story of the triplets’ reunion became a big hit during their time. They went onto several shows and even got to play a part in a movie. The triplets soon discovered similarities. They all smoked the same cigarettes brand, same interests in women, and all like Chinese food. The brothers opened a steakhouse in New York together called Triplets. The place thrived until the relationship between the brothers went sour. As much as they want to believe they are similar, they are different from each other. The parents were angered about why they had not been told about the triplets from the beginning and visited the adoption agency. There was no clear answer until a researcher gave them a call. They were part of a secret study of nature versus nurture that involves identical siblings. The triplets remembered during their early childhood; researchers would go over studying them as if they were lab rats.
Parents were told it’s a study of how children that were adopted adjust to their new life. The study consists of identical siblings deliberately adopted to different socioeconomic level families. David went into an immigrant family who owns a small store, Eddy went into a middle-class household, and Bobby went into a wealthy family. Each one of them has also spent time in a psychiatric facility struggling with mental illness.
Eddy was suffering from manic depression and took his own life. The preeminent research was done by Dr. Peter Neubauer. He was a child psychiatrist and the director of the Child Development Center of the Jewish Board of Guardians in Manhattan. He conducted the research to see what shape humans the way they are; the environmental factor in which they were raised or is it through genetics. There is no consensus around nature vs. nurture and the study was never published or completed. According to Dr. Neubauer’s studies, messing with the nature has affected the triplets in similar ways. Going back to Chapter 3, the biological risk factors of identical twins display more similar behavior than nonidentical twins. They had similar ideas of fun, talked similar, and sharing same interests. Sadly, they go through similar struggles with mental illness as well. Each of them displayed anxiety and banging their heads against the cribs at young age.
Also, had experienced depression and had visit a psychiatric hospital at one point. As the brothers grow, some were able to cope better than the other. With the tragic death of Eddy, some believed it is the cause of environment he was raised in. The relationship with his adoptive father were not as great. The differences of how each one was raised did affect the life choices. Some of the disrupted mental health challenges from being separated at young age could have reduce if the boys were put into adoption together.