The best way to experience Tim Wardle’s documentary, “Three Identical Strangers,” is to do so without knowing a single thing about it.
So before proceeding any further, let’s just get this out of the way: It’s an excellent movie, and you should see it.
For those still here, I’ll try to steer clear of the film’s most shocking revelations. But there’s no getting around the central premise, which itself is fun to discover.
The movie opens in 1980, with 19-year-old Robert Shafran of Westchester County, New York arriving at Sullivan County Community College in the Catskills. It’s his first day at that school, and yet everybody on campus appears to know him and call him “Eddy.”
A fellow student, starting to realize what’s going on, grabs Robert and drives him to the Long Island home of 19-year-old Eddy Galland — and Robert comes face to face with himself. Or rather, his exact doppelganger. Eddy and Robert, it turns out, are identical twins, separated at birth, now brought together by an amazing coincidence.
So, they get newspaper stories written about their startling reunion whereupon a third person shows up: David Kellman of New York City. Now there are three identical young men — triplets.
Each of them was apparently sent to a different home by the same adoption agency, without any information given to their new families about the existence of the others.
From there the story goes absolutely bonkers, taking twists that send things spinning not just in another direction, but practically into another dimension — one far more paranoid and tragic.
Ken Burns has checked into Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic plenty of times as a patient when he gets his annual checkup, but last Wednesday he was strictly in the delivery business, offering a sneak preview of his upcoming documentary, “The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, Science.”
The two-hour film won’t debut on PBS until Sept. 25, but roughly 500 Mayo Clinic staffers, selected by lottery, watched more than ten minutes of footage with live commentary from Burns, the Emmy-winning auteur behind “The Civil War,” “Jazz” and “Baseball.”
“This is the quintessential American story,” said Burns, who received a standing ovation after Mayo’s version of an afternoon at the movies. “The principle at work here was both males and females working together with Midwestern ethos. That’s something special here.”
Prolific documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus just debuted her new New York Times docuseries “The Fourth Estate” at this month’s Tribeca Film Festival, but she’s already got another brand-new feature ready to go.
Her latest film, “A Dangerous Son,” which premieres May 7 on HBO, chronicles the stories of three young children with mental illness, and the struggles their families endure to get them help even when resources are limited and support is in short supply.
The film follows its three subjects — ranging in age from ten to 15, all with different mental health issues — as they cycle through counselor visits, medications, hospitalizations, and even encounters with law enforcement as they attempt to find some peace and normalcy.
The film is making its debut during Mental Health Month, and it looks like the kind of personal endeavor that could shed some serious light on a subject in need of more understanding.
National Geographic Documentary Films has acquired film festival winner “Science Fair.”
The announcement took place Wednesday at National Geographic’s “Further Front” presentation in New York City.
“Science Fair” won the Audience Choice award at both Sundance 2018 and SXSW 2018.
The documentary follows nine students from around the world as they prepare for the 2017 International Science and Engineering Fair, a highly competitive showcase of the world’s top young scientific minds.
Case in point: Dr. Tom Catena, the subject of Kenneth A. Carlson’s documentary, “The Heart of Nuba.” Serving as the only doctor for nearly one million people living in the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan, the middle-aged, bald and lanky Catena more resembles a hard-working insurance salesman than a man who’s sacrificed so much to help others.
“The Heart of Nuba” delivers a moving but thankfully not overly sentimental portrait of this admirable figure.
The people living in the region are under constant aerial bombardment by the forces of the country’s longtime dictator and indicted war criminal, President Omar Al-Bashir. Bashir wants their land for its rich mineral resources and is not hesitant to commit genocide in order to procure it.