Film review: The Imposter

GRAEME TUCKETT
Last updated 05:00 17/01/2013
The Imposter
IDENTITY THIEF: Documentary The Imposter is absolutely engrossing.

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THE IMPOSTER (95 min)

Directed by Bart Layton 

In 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay disappeared from his West Texas home. Four years later, a young French conman told the grieving family that he was their missing son. He was flown to America, and lived with the family for some months before his ruse was revealed. Or that's how history remembers the story of The Imposter. 

But this excellent and absolutely engrossing documentary is more concerned with the less obvious questions: Why were the Barclay family so willing to embrace and welcome this obvious fake? And what were they hoping to conceal by doing so?

Director Bart Layton makes his money shooting episodes of Locked Up Abroad, and occasionally his style and showman's flair get in the way of the facts. But The Imposter remains one of the most impressive and big screen-worthy docos I've seen in a long time. There isn't a thriller playing in town that can match it for sheer jaw-dropping impact.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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