New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical … Does the environment in which you were raised have a greater impact? Three Identical Strangers is a facinating case study of three identical triplets separated at birth only to be accidentally reunited at the age of 19, and the darkness surrounding their separation and its aftermath. Everyone wants to belong to a tribe; one can only imagine how powerful it must feel to find two other people who are immediate family; who have ties to you from before you knew; who literally reflect your likeness on their faces; and, who can give you a bear-hug as warm as your own, which you can all but imagine if you’ve ever seen photos of Eddy, David, and Bob together. A person close to the triplets said in the film, Eddy’s relationship with his dad “couldn’t have been good...otherwise, we would have seen him, or Eddy would have talked about him.”. It wasn’t until the documentary filmmakers’ put the pressure on that the Yale officials now holding the research authorized limited access of the psychological files to the studied children who requested access. For more on the triplets and the psychological experiment that changed their lives, pick up a … What are some similarities and differences among the “three identical strangers”? Film from an occasionally Buddhist perspective. There, individuals could discuss the hardships of being intentionally separated from biological family members, such as a father they’d never meet if they were donor-conceived, or a surrogate mother they’d never meet if they were hired by a gay couple, for instance. The recently released documentary, Three Identical Strangers, tells a story that’s at times humorous, at times incredible, and at other times foreboding. Or if you’re not actually making decisions – if it’s all a veil of faux-free will imposed by your genes – it’s good to know that too. The Buddha taught that there is no ‘self,’ no solid-state thing that exists at the center of us. Three Identical Strangers also introduced the question of using humans in psychological studies. You become conditioned in a number of ways, but your upbringing is clearly a major component of it. 'Three Identical Strangers' is a documentary about triplets separated at birth by a Jewish-affiliated adoption agency in 1961. We encourage members of the media interested in learning more about the people and projects behind the work of the Institute for Family Studies to get started by perusing our "Media Kit" materials. Systematically Analyzing Three Identical Strangers. Then there’s consciousness, which is a whole other pile of beans in Buddhism. Three Identical Strangers took British director Tim Wardle five years to complete. It’s the interplay of all these things – where you come from, where you were, where you are – and it’s only applicable right this second. Deeper questions beg to be asked, even if at first by the adopted parents: Why were these boys separated at birth; why weren’t they informed they had biological siblings; and why weren’t any of the adoptive parents informed and given the option to adopt all three? There are a great number of similarities between us as human beings, but there are also a great number of difference – and both aspects are important and worthy of celebration. In terms of healthy child development, Three Identical Strangers offers a number of insights. It’s nature and it’s nurture, and it’s also neither of those things because it’s existing beings continuously processing their existence, and being changed forever by it. Please mail support checks to the address below: The Institute for Family Studies They all liked older women! Needless separation from blood relatives, years of psychological testing the reasons for which were not disclosed—these also played into the nurture the boys experienced. You continue to become conditioned throughout your life. Well, to say any more would be to rob you of the rich pleasures of Three Identical Strangers, a documentary that begins like a lighthearted human interest piece and that takes a turn for the strange and disturbing. They soon discovered remarkable similarities about their lives – they were all wrestlers! But for these three it seemed to be the moment that set them free, that allowed them to be who they should have always been. Perhaps that’s why the researchers never penned conclusions from the unethical study. The documentary Three Identical Strangers, which premiered on CNN on January 27, tells the story of Robert (Bobby) Shafran, David Kellman, and Edward Galland. He was 33 years old. Setting aside the shocking twists, turns and injustices that become clear in the second half of Three Identical Strangers, the movie illustrates some of the most profound spiritual ideas possible. Your donation will be tax-deductible. Adam Chitwood reviews the shocking Nature vs. Nurture documentary and one of the best films of the year, 'Three Identical Strangers', about triplets separated at birth. What are the things that create the person you are? He explained our sense of ‘self’ with the five skandhas, or ‘heaps’ or ‘aggregates,’ which come together to create the experience we have of being living beings. As the brothers grew up, got married, and pursued their business endeavors, some coped better than others with the inevitable stressors in life that come up. Three Identical Strangers – about triplets adopted separately who discovered each other in their late teens – is a tale delightful and cautionary, hugely enraging while also asking questions of all of us. The day that DNA extracted at a crime scene can lead to a mug shot portrait seems to have already arrived, … This is the body, but it’s also your DNA. These are your conditioned responses to things, the ways that your mind reacts to what it perceives and senses. There’s mental formations, which kind of fits under the ‘nurture’ tab in nature vs. nurture. It’s a story of the power of nature and nurture. Three Identical Strangers, winner of a Sundance award, directed by Tim Wardle, tells their story. © Devin Faraci and Cinema Sangha, 2019. As the film explains, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst named Dr. Peter B. Neubauer wanted to solve the mystery of nature vs. nurture and decided to use children put up for adoption as guinea pigs for his research. Irmak Hatirli. But the children’s experiences in different families also revealed something most parents know to be true—that parenting styles make a difference. The question, when boiled down, is the familiar head-to-head battle: nature vs. nurture. At the time, it was the kind of good news everyone wants to hear. Who developed the idea of comparative anatomy? Combining archival footage, re-enacted scenes, and present-day interviews, it recounts how the brothers discovered one another by chance at age 19, their public and … The film, directed by Tim Wardle and released across the United States in the past few weeks, tells a story some might remember from headlines in the 1980s: Three college-aged identical triplets—Eddy Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran—each put up for adoption, learn they were separated at birth and are reunited. What are the similar five-fingered or five-toed forelimbs of … And yet they end up quite different. Here are five things you may not know about the documentary: 1. The children’s mental-health challenges from being separated point toward the stubborn truth of how biological families are best kept together when possible. What is the study of similarities and differences in the body structure of organisms? Thanks for your interest in supporting the work of The Institute for Family Studies. While this blog ain’t exactly priceless, it is given freely. Sadly, they also had similar struggles with mental illness growing up: all three displayed separation anxiety, banging their heads against the bars of their cribs; all three experienced depression at times, and all three made visits to psychiatric hospitals as teenagers. What makes you you? They found each other by chance 18 years later when, on his first day at … As a part of the experimentation, Louise Wise Services placed the three children in homes within a 100-mile radius of each other in families with a mom, dad, and older sister who had also previously been placed by the same adoption agency. One need only scroll through some of the testimonies to be struck by the common chords. Three Identical Strangers is a 2018 documentary film directed by Tim Wardle, about the lives of Edward Galland, David Kellman, and Robert Shafran, a set of identical triplets adopted as infants by separate families. Messing with nature affected the boys in similar ways as well. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Then there’s perception, which allows you to recognize and label things. Shafran, Kellman, and Galland were identical triplets born in 1961, each of whom were separated six months later when they were adopted by different families. Der Film feierte im Januar 2018 im Rahmen des Sundance Film Festivals seine Premiere. After all, if you could better understand the decisions that you made, you could make better decisions. It allows you to look at a car and see a car, but it also keeps you from seeing all the component parts that make up a car. A number of children have still not been informed they were separated at birth from siblings and studied as a part of the multiple-birth-child research. Watching, Setting aside the shocking twists, turns and injustices that become clear in the second half of, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). But the question of how the three of them ended up separated, yet living within a hundred mile radius of one another, one in a working class home, one in a middle class home, and one in a wealthy home, tugged at their adoptive parents. Please feel free to contact us by using your preferred method detailed below. As the film details, the Louise Wise Adoption Agency, a prominent child-placement agency for Jewish families, intentionally separated a number of twins and multiple-birth siblings and placed them in homes of different socio-economic levels for the purposes of using the children’s lives for research. Three Identical Strangers offers an empathic view of multiple perspectives throughout the film, but the most salient are those that caution viewers away from intentionally and unnecessarily dividing biological family members. They smoke the same brand of cigarettes, like the same food, the same music, the same colors. Any way you can help support the costs of this blog are greatly and humbly appreciated. Tim Wardle's award-winning 2018 documentary film Three Identical Strangers, recently shown on Channel 4, tells the story of triplets Edward Galland, David Kellman and Robert Shafran, born in New York in July 1961, who were separated at six months old and placed into three different adoptive families. And recently Wardle was alerted to a new development: A 54-year-old New Jersey woman saw “Three Identical Strangers” and recognized the name of … The story of these triplets offers insights into this fundamental question about humanity, and I have to tell you, the answers I came away with reinforced what I have learned in my Buddhist studies. Instead, it appears that within their different spheres of existence, each twin is drawn to particular people, places and events that are most compatible with their genetic backgrounds. DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! The age-old question of nature vs. nurture is at the heart of this compelling, moving, troubling documentary* of triplets born to a Jewish mother who were separated at birth (really at 6 months of age) in 1961, and placed with three different Jewish … Watching the brothers describe their trauma growing up reminded me of Alana Newman’s project, Anonymous Us—an online forum and subsequent books where children conceived with reproductive technologies could anonymously open up about their traumatic experiences growing up with their origins unclear. Considering the children out there who still don’t know their origins, the former assistant exclaimed, “these people don’t know they were used this way; they will be so upset!” It was for this reason, however, that Josephowitz seemed comfortable with the idea of keeping the truth hidden instead of bringing it into the open. Well, to say any more would be to rob you of the rich pleasures of, Anyway, you can see that within the Buddhist concept of the illusion of self we have nature and nurture already included. Even when zooming in on only the genetic differences among people there is a dazzling range of issues to discuss. The children had identical looks, similar ways of talking, and common ideas about how to have fun together. The journey is fascinating, and the twists and turns will have you gasping – literally, people gasped in my theater when I saw it. Next is sensation, which is your sensual experience of the world. The recently released documentary, Three Identical Strangers, tells a story that’s at times humorous, at times incredible, and at other times foreboding. Intuitively, it seems that even genetically identical people living apart should differ more than they do, but the data tell a different … STOP READING! Watch the trailer for the film The Boston Globe describes as "a multiple-stage jaw-dropper." The surreal, sad story behind the acclaimed new doc ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Bobby Shafran, left, David Kellman and Eddy Galland were separated at birth. Mary Rose Somarriba, who completed a 2012 Robert Novak Fellowship on the connections between pornography and sex trafficking, is a writer living in Cleveland and the editor of Natural Womanhood. “We found the ways that we were alike and we emphasized them, and we wanted to be alike,” he said. This message came through the triplets’ entwined stories as a tragic turn of events unfolded. For media inquiries, contact Michael Toscano (michael@ifstudies.org). It’s your genetic heritage. When Robert Shafran started community college … We are both separate and integrally connected, completely different and completely the same. Three Identical Strangers ist ein Dokumentarfilm von Tim Wardle über die wahre Geschichte von eineiigen Drillingen, die sich zufällig 1980 in New York begegneten, nachdem sie bei der Geburt voneinander getrennt wurden. Three Identical Strangers offers an empathic view of multiple perspectives throughout the film, but the most salient are those that caution viewers away from intentionally and unnecessarily dividing biological family members. Alas, in this case, the adoption agency is guilty of crimes against both nature and nurture, since they failed to live up to their most fundamental and trusted responsibility—to help provide vulnerable children with as nurturing an environment as possible. Researchers have been trying to figure out for years if For more than 15 years, they performed psychological testing and took extensive notes and video recordings of the children. They are literally the same person, on a biological level, made of the same matter, arranged in the same way. After all, they have identical brains, yet they don’t have identical fates. What they learned, slowly and over the years, stunned and shocked them all, and…. Dana is the Pali word for the generosity given back to support those offering the teachings. One interviewee notes toward the end of the film, “both [nature and nurture] matter; but I think nurture can overcome anything.” Still, at the end of the documentary, the clear villain is not Eddy’s reserved father but the people responsible for separating the triplets at birth, which would seem to suggest that messing with nature has a greater effect. In Buddhism teachings are given for free because they are considered priceless. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bob was placed in a working-class home with a grocery-store owner as a father who had a very warm and jovial disposition and later became affectionately called the Yiddish nickname “Bubula” by all three boys. Kind of … Unless you have already seen Tim Wardle’s new documentary “Three Identical Strangers.” In that event, you have my permission to read on. The triplets in Three Identical Strangers were typical in this regard, each making similar choices. Three Identical Strangers (2018) Plot. The story clearly conveys how it never serves anyone well to unnecessarily mess with nature. Yet the path to make “Three Identical Strangers,” and what happened after it was released, is almost as twisty as the film itself. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Devin Faraci and Cinema Sangha with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. In 1980 two of these three met through strange coincidence; when they appeared in the newspapers their third brother had the shock of seeing himself – twice! They immediately focused on the similarities rather than the differences. The new documentary, Three Identical Strangers clearly conveys how it never serves anyone well to unnecessarily mess with nature. STOP RIGHT NOW! Meanwhile, Eddy was placed in a middle-class family with a dad he often clashed with. Pic credit: CNN/Turner. Telling adoptive parents only that they were doing research on adopted children, not on biological siblings separated at birth, the Louise Wise agency facilitated years of research on Eddy, David, and Bob, by sending researchers on house visits. These three identical strangers are us – built from the same materials, structurally similar in so many ways, yet absolutely unique and ourselves. Much is unknown, since the conclusions were never published, and the notes were under seal until 2066. In 1980, young Robert Shafran enrolls at … They each have an older sister, who also was adopted. The plot somewhat twists at the end to emphasize the greater impact of nurture than nature, especially in shaping the boys’ abilities to cope with hardships. After receiving brief psychiatric care, he returned home. Bobby and Eddy met for the first time in 1980 (Image: Three Identical Strangers) Their dads, too, were each very different in their approach to fatherhood. The Persistent Tension Between Nature and Nurture. So the education level of the parents were different too. They all smoked Marlboros! Three Identical Strangers is playing in New York and Los Angles before opening wider on July 6. They were all placed in families with different economic and social status. After the tragedy, the surviving brothers couldn’t help but see differences in how they were raised and how it may have affected their life choices. The question of why we are who we are is one of the most important we can ask. David was placed in an upper-class family with a doctor as his adoptive father; he experienced a rather reserved home life where his father was often unavailable. Subjects: Biology, Critical Thinking, Psychology. On the other hand, twins that may have been separated at birth, find that years later when they meet up for the first time that they have very similar character traits and experiences. – on the front page. Identical twins may share the same DNA make up and grow up in the same household, yet they have very distinct personalities. The questions raised in the second half of the movie will tug at you on both philosophical and ethical levels. The similarities in their lives before reunion tended towards the spooky, and it’s incredible to watch these reunited siblings display similar mannerisms just days or weeks after meeting each other for the first time. Three Identical Strangers: The triplets in the early days of their discovery of each other. Had they undertaken this task, which would have involved attempting to measure the effects of nature and nurture, they might have had to face how, for the numerous lives involved in their experiment, they actively damaged both. Otherwise, stop and go see the movie. Is there a genetic destiny that exists beyond our control, that will send you down a path no matter the circumstance? What British philosopher wrote "Natural Theology," in which he argued that the design seen in the world demonstrates God's existence? Click here to become a patron via Patreon. Seeing the three hardy boys together, whether in New York Post photos, on prime-time TV shows, or in person at the Manhattan restaurant they ended up opening, was deeply heart-warming. That means no soul, no consistent internal being. How you experience things sensually informs who you are. Georges Cuvier. These three identical strangers took to each other, filling gaps in one another they didn’t even realize had been there. Thi. David’s was a … Three Identical Strangers is a facinating case study of three identical triplets separated at birth only to be accidentally reunited at the age of 19, and the darkness surrounding their separation and its aftermath. Charlottesville, VA 22902. A trio of triplets offer a unique look at this question, as each of them was adopted out at six months, and they spent the first 19 years of their lives not knowing they had a sibling, let alone two who were identical at the DNA level. Even if their birth mother wasn’t able to take care of them, the boys could have been put up for adoption together as a trio, which would have reduced some of their nature-disrupted challenges. It is a great classroom tool for delving into the "nature vesus nurture" debate. One family member of one of the boy’s adopted families later said, “coming from the Holocaust, our family has a knowledge that when you play with humans... [things turn out] very wrong.”. First, treating children like specimens is a dangerous business and will set them on a challenging life course. You might think that discovering there are two other yous in the world would make you feel less unique, less special, crowded in. Unfortunately, one of the brothers committed suicide as an adult, the details of … The first is form, or matter. We’re all one… yet we’re all different. THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is the most amazing, incredible, remarkable true story ever told. If you would like to donate online, please click the button below to be taken to our donation form: You can also support us on Patreon via the button below: The Institute for Family Studies is a 501(c)3 organization. More than factors like income level, the film suggests that the dynamics of a father’s warmth in the home in particular is a key player in the nurture that affected the three boys the most. The focus on the similarities doesn’t do justice to the totality of their humanity, and the triplets are different in as many ways as they are the same. It is terrifying to imagine that pivotal aspects of one’s life would be kept secret from them and that their lives would be treated like those of “lab rats,” as one of the brothers described it in the movie. Then they were three, and there was an automatic bond. Quickly, the movie turns from a humorous run of interviews about how they first met, to a real-life Truman Show-type train wreck about three lives that were blindly orchestrated for the purposes of others’ social experiments. In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they're triplets who were separated at birth. This says less about adoption as a general practice—since research like Neubauer’s is fringe and rare—and more about the practices of intentional family fragmentation at large. I think it’s nature AND nurture, and that pitting the two against each other is a classic Western bit of dualistic thinking. Three Identical Strangers quickly shifts to a real-life Truman Show-type train wreck about three lives that were blindly orchestrated for the purposes of social experiments. Sign up for our mailing list to receive ongoing updates from IFS. (Courtesy of NEON) (Courtesy of NEON) Jan 17, 2019, 1:39 PM The elderly father of Eddy even said, still in grief, “I often wondered if I didn’t teach him something…how to live life or something…that bothers me.”. Anyway, you can see that within the Buddhist concept of the illusion of self we have nature and nurture already included. Understanding the similarities and differences among people occupies psychologists, anthropologists, artists, doctors and, of course, many biologists. Three Identical Strangers (2018) Documentary Questions. Perhaps halfway through, after … P.O. Because the you who is reading this sentence won’t be the same you who has finished this sentence. The trio's joyous reunion in 1980 catapults them to fame but it also sets in motion a chain of events that unearths an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes far … by Tom Avril, The Philadelphia Inquirer . After one of the brothers left their joint restaurant business, Eddy’s behavior became erratic and unpredictable, and he displayed manic-depressive symptoms. What were the findings of the research? This falls into three general categories – pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Critiques of Twin Studies: In … This post contains spoilers and this movie should not be … The materialist view of humanity would say that the things that seem beyond the physical – their thoughts, their emotions – are manifestations of chemicals, but by the end of the movie it seemed clear to me that while brain chemistry had some impact on the lives of these triplets, there was more at play than just serotonin levels. By Robert Prentice. But it’s a story that quickly turns dark when one looks past the lighthearted headlines and comedic banter of TV show hosts, who note how the trio happens to like the same brand of cigarettes. Within these uncanny bookends, Tim Wardle’s documentary tells an extraordinary tale that is best experienced knowing as little as possible beyond the central premise. The film, directed by Tim Wardle and released across the United States in the past few weeks, tells a story some might remember from headlines in the 1980s: Three college-aged identical triplets—Eddy Galland, … Showing all 3 items Jump to: Summaries (3) Summaries. 'Three Identical Strangers' and the real science of nature vs. nurture. Spoiler Alert: The following article includes plot elements from the documentary, Three Identical Strangers. homology. In fact it illustrates the very concept of spirituality in the existence of these twins – there is more to them than the matter that makes up their bodies. One morning, when he didn’t show up at work, a family member went to check the house and discovered that Eddy had shot himself. A successful documentary needs a compelling story and Three Identical Strangers tells an emotionally wrenching, “stranger than fiction” tale: identical triplets separated at … Are you created by the sum of your genes? William Paley . Three Identical Strangers tells the astonishing true story of three men who make the chance discovery, at the age of 19, that they are identical triplets, separated at birth and adopted to different parents. – and basked in the glow of pre-internet viral fame. But their quest to find out why turns into a bizarre and sinister mystery. These are three boys who as infants slept together in the same crib. Box 1502 The young men are astounded by their similarities. Decades later in Three Identical Strangers, Shafran confirmed, accompanied by a smile that suggested that he was understating the case, that he and his brothers intentionally emphasized their similarities and downplayed their differences. This is the situation for all of us – we are all made of the same matter (although arranged in slightly different ways; our DNA is all very similar to each … Similarities found in identical twins despite being raised in different homes: personality, styles of thinking & relating abilities/intelligence test scores attitudes interests, tastes specific fears brain waves, heart rate. But there was a catch: not one of the families knew … More than that, their story illustrates a spiritual concept so basic that it’s become cliche – none of us are separate, we’re all connected. “This is like Nazi sh*t,” another said, who, as a man of Jewish descent, did not choose those words lightly. Or are you created by your circumstances? Adoptees and their parents often wonder where the adoptee’s traits come from - their birth family or their adoptive family? Watching Three Identical Strangers I could see how the five aggregates came together to create the sense of self for each of these triplets, and it was exciting. The answers are worse than we might imagine. It is certainly an incredible story; but what was behind those joyful initial revelations that the world latched onto was very dark indeed. That mystery is retold in the opening moments of the new movie Three Identical Strangers, and it gets more bizarre from there. This is the situation for all of us – we are all made of the same matter (although arranged in slightly different ways; our DNA is all very similar to each other, but not so similar as in this case), but we are all experiencing this matter in different ways. Spoiler alert: Shafran learned he was one of a set of triplets who were separated soon after birth and placed with adoptive families — part of a study in which researchers explored the age-old question of how human beings are shaped by nature … The focus on the similarities doesn’t do justice to the totality of their humanity, and the triplets are different in as many ways as they are the same. Natasha Josephowitz, a former research assistant for Dr. Neubauer, told filmmakers that at the time when the research was being done in the ‘80s, it “did not seem to be bad… it was a very exciting time.” Later in the documentary, however, Josephowitz’s words betrayed an underlying sense that it was unethical. But the children had identical looks, similar ways of talking, and we emphasized them, and we to. Who is reading this sentence Shafran started community college … the young men are astounded by their.. 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