‘The Accidental Twins’ tells the incredible true story of a scientist’s dream

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 20, 2024
The Accidental Twins Image for Netflix Review
The Accidental Twins Promotional Image (Credit - Netflix)

The Accidental Twins is not just another documentary. Its premise might sound like the plot of an upcoming movie. But it’s not fiction; it’s a true story. Jorge and Carlos, who always believed they were non-identical twin brothers, discover their actual twin brothers online, leading to a mind-boggling narrative that will leave you in awe and spur on the conspiratorial mind.

I wonder if a single documentary is worthy of this story, to tell you the truth. The movie’s first half excitedly tells of how Jorge and Carlos learned how they were switched at birth, which turns into a rabbit hole as they meet their twin brothers. The story is sold like office gossip: it just so happened that one of their colleagues bumped into their counterparts at the butchers, and that brought on the confusion. Admittedly, I liked the approach because I could imagine being in the office myself unearthing a similar conspiracy.

But even when the explanation of how they were mixed up at birth comes to fruition, it’s still hard to believe that this could happen. As the documentary reaches the final act, we are told that this scenario is a scientist’s dream: splitting up pairs of twins, having them live completely different lives, and seeing if their codex leads to the same personality and outcomes. This is a sad, accidental scientific experiment that’s difficult to get your head around.

The Accidental Twins is as raw as it gets because the subjects are interviewed. The hospital mix-up spurred a series of events that happened by luck. Being mixed up was bad luck, but finding each other was good luck. This is the kind of story that deserves embellishment.

The Netflix documentary shows that both sets of brothers experienced different outcomes. They had various opportunities in life: one with safer chances, the other with less, mixed in with the possibilities of being on the loose end of guerrilla warfare. While the documentary is lighthearted, I felt sadness about what was gained and lost, not just for the brothers but for the parents, too.

The Accidental Twins brings the irony of life: how one lost identifying wristband brought one of the most fascinating human stories of all time. A story of “lost time” and “gained time” is a confusing science regarding these human relationships: if the brothers enjoyed brotherhood and became valuable citizens of life, does it matter? Well, I suppose it does because you have to debate the “what ifs,” and there are plenty of those questions in the documentary.

But what I loved most about The Accidental Twins, apart from the horror of the tragedy and the happy ending that eventually followed, is the humanity of it all. Director Alessandro Angulo has captured what the brothers felt then and the opposing personalities that created this story. The documentary’s ending is sweet too, bringing a full-circle experience to a confusing story.

Will this happen again? That’s what makes this a remarkable true story. I doubt it will happen again unless parallel universes start breaching our reality. This is a one-of-a-kind documentary, and I felt honored to watch it.

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