To celebrate the release of Three Identical Strangers, in cinemas Friday, here's our rundown of our top documentaries where reality truly is stranger than fiction:
Three Identical Strangers
Three Identical Strangers tells the astonishing 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. The trio’s joyous reunion in 1980 catapults them to fame but threatens to unearth an extraordinary and sinister secret that reaches far beyond their own lives-a secret that might one day answer key questions at the heart of all human behaviour.
Crystal Moselle's Grand Jury Prize winner The Wolfpack explores the incredible lives of the six Angulo brothers. The brothers who share Sanskrit names and striking shoulder length hair spent most of their lives almost entirely confined in a New York apartment. This extraordinary film captures the brothers’ creativity and resilience as they find temporary escape from reality through their meticulous enactment of Hollywood classics like Resevoir Dogs, Goodfellas and The Dark Knight. Wolfpack touchingly meditates on the power of film, brotherhood, and imagination, whilst reminding us of just how little we know about our neighbours.
Capturing the Friedmans
Andrew Jarecki's Capturing the Freidmans retrospectively examines the chaos that enveloped the Freidman family in the late 1980's when Arnold Friedman and his son Jesse stood accused of the sexual abuse of the young boys they tutored at an afterschool computer club. With extensive access to the family's video archive, the film provides a voyeuristic window into the families lives during the run up to one of America's most sensational child abuses cases - one that questions the nature of truth and memory and darkly interrogates the power of familial duty.
In the late 90's 23 year old Parisian Frederic Bourdin began to impersonate Nicholas Barclay a 13 year old Texan boy who had disappeared in 1994. Despite Frederic's very clear physical difference to Nicholas, his newly acquired French accent and his appearance in Madrid, the Barclay family eagerly welcomed Boudin into their home as their returned son. The Imposter attempts to detangle the truth from this bizarre tale of audacious deception - Is Bourdin con-artist or victim? Why did the Barclay family welcome a man in the place of their lost son? Judgements on these murky questions director Bart Layton leaves for us to decide.
Searching for Sugarman
In the early 1970's Detroit born folksinger Rodriguez lived in relative obscurity unaware that that his music had inspired generations of South Africans. Oscar-winning Searching for Sugarman charts the discovery of Rodriguez's true identity by two of his fans. The gripping journey that uncovers this unlikely rock icon is one that paints an enigmatic and mysterious portrait of the singer and exposes a career that is unexpectedly tied to apartheid South Africa.
David Farrier's Tickled uncovers the surprising darkness of the world of Competitive Endurance Tickling. After discovering endurance tickling online, Farrier's attempts to delve deeper into this strange subculture were met with hostility, threats, and legal action from the video's producers who appeared intent on ending the investigation. Farrier's persistence exposes the extraordinary practices of endurance tickling, the insidious exploitation of its participants and uncovers the mysterious identity of 'Terri Tickle' the shadowy figure at the phenomenon's head. Tickled is a truly singular documentary, one that makes for captivating albeit uncomfortable viewing.