Nature versus nurture debate re-ignited in new documentary

by Harley Therapy
Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

As power metal ballad ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ thumps out of Robert Shafran’s stereo, soundtracking his voyage towards a reconciliation with long-lost twin brother David, we settle back into what will surely be a feel-good tale of love and loss.

What unfolds in new documentary Three Identical Strangers however is an unsparing examination of psychology and nature versus nurture that would have Sigmund Freud’s ears burning at best and spinning in his grave at worst.

In director Tim Wardle's film, we learn that Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman spent nineteen years unaware they were identical triplets. Separated at birth, the trio are adopted by different families - unwittingly finding themselves at the centre of a psychological scandal. It turns out the babies were split up as part of psychoanalyst Peter Neubauer’s study of siblings separated at birth.

As Three Identical Strangers unravels, you are forced to examine your position. Is biology destiny, as Freud famously argued? Or are we freely following our own paths?

This is a sad but vital tale, for psychology buffs and documentary fans alike.

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