In 1979, Eddy Galland, David Kellman and Robert Shafran were three completely anonymous young adults each making their way in the world. In 1980, they were brothers, and after a lifetime of separation, they finally became inseparable. It’s a story that shook the world, and one I was, thankfully, not familiar with, which allowed this documentary to completely take me by surprise. Their story is so twisted, so shocking and so powerful that it demands to be seen. You haven’t heard a story like this before.
It’s such a powerfully constructed exploration of human genealogy, nature vs. nurture, and the significance and perils of attempting to manipulate human life. Details are difficult to discuss without delving into spoiler territory, but the gradual tonal shift is a welcomed one. The second half in particular adapts a much darker approach to tell this story, leaving you frustrated at the events that transpired, and are probably still transpiring to this day. These events didn’t just stop in the 80s. The repercussions are still being felt, and when the final credits rolled, I just sat in the theatre in stunned silence.
However, this ending does seem to leave its themes in a very conclusive state, to the point where they pretty much spell out what this entire film means. It’s an ending that could’ve used a little more subtlety. I get it, it’s a documentary, they’re meant to be informative, but at that moment they’d already given us enough information that I’d pieced together my own take-away, and having it spelt out does leave the film on somewhat of a sour note. However, the journey getting there is one you can’t possibly miss. This story is big - bigger than you’re probably anticipating. If you don’t experience it for yourself, you’re just doing yourself a disservice.
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