WARNING: There are SPOILERS ahead for Three Identical Strangers.
So, if you are yet to see the beguiling, fascinating and ultimately heart-wrenching documentary about the horrid separation of the triplets Bobby, David and Eddy when they were only a few months old and their miraculous reunion years later, bookmark this article, watch “Three Identical Strangers,” and then return for the update.
One of the most heart-wrenching moments of “Three Identical Strangers” is the sudden revelation that one of the triplets Eddy had previously committed suicide, while it also becomes apparent that David and Bobby had sadly become estranged after the brothers’ restaurant had struggled to improve upon its impressive start.
During my recent discussion with “Three Identical Strangers’” director Tim Wardle, he admitted that their relationship had become so frosty that he was nervous about reuniting the duo for the film.
“They weren’t speaking the whole way through us making the film. When you see them on camera together that was, I was really nervous about that. All of the friction you see there is really real.”
Wardle isn’t exactly sure just how long they hadn’t been speaking for, though. “When I say they weren’t speaking, I mean they definitely weren’t in regular communication. They had very, very infrequently spoken or seen each other.”
“It is hard to say what caused it. You know, it is families. It is hard to say exactly what goes on in families. It was not good. I still think it is definitely going to be a rocky up and down relationship from here on and in.”
Unfortunately, the extent to which David and Bobby had fallen out wasn’t really a surprise to Wardle, because in his research for “Three Identical Strangers” the filmmaker learned that, after instantly connecting upon reuniting, most of the estranged twins had struggled to maintain their relationships.
“One of the fascinating things we learnt was a lot of the other people in the study, the ones that we know about that aren’t in the film that we spoke to, when they first met after being reunited with their twin they were incredibly close and had this close relationship.”
“But almost all of them have fallen out since. It is almost as if the human brain can’t cope with meeting a clone of yourself in the 20s or 30s. They just didn’t have the experience of growing up together to work out all of their issues. It is hard to do it later in life.”
But while Wardle doesn’t expect David and Bobby’s relationship to suddenly be all sunshine and roses, he did reveal that “one of the lovely unintended consequences of the film is that it seems to have brought them together a bit.”
“When it showed at Sundance someone in the audience asked, ‘What is your relationship like?’ And they said, ‘Look, it is a work in progress. But making the film and sharing the film with people has brought us closer together’.”
That impact even stretches out beyond the two brothers, as Wardle revealed that Bobby, Eddy and David’s daughters have all become closer as a result of “Three Identical Strangers,” too.
“What’s lovely is that all three triplets had a daughter. David had two, and because the boys had fallen out they hadn’t spent all that much time together. Even though they are cousins, genetically they are half siblings because their fathers have identical DNA.”
“One of the lovely things that happened after the film had come out was they have spent more time together. They are in their early 20s right now.”
“You know the bit in the film where David’s aunt says, ‘They were like puppies wrestling on the floor the first time they met.’ One of the girl’s said, ‘We were like that. The connection was just instant.’ So that has been really lovely.”