Director Bart Layton’s 2012 thrilling film/documentary "The Imposter" defines why clichés such as "truth is stranger than fiction" exist. "The Imposter" chronicles the bizarre, tragic and true case of Nicholas Barclay, a San Antonio 13-year-old boy who goes missing in 1994. Over three years later, authorities that say they have found Nicholas in Spain contact the family.
The family readily welcomes Nicholas back into their home despite his increased height, hair and eye color changes and the fact that he speaks with a French accent. A local private investigator and FBI agent eventually discover that as the film title suggests the boy actually is Frederic Bourdin, a twenty-something Frenchman with a history of impersonating dozens of teenagers in countries around the world.
The docu-drama is a jaw-dropping combination of re-creations of events and interviews with both family members and Bourdin. Questions arise on why the family would accept the imposter into their homes and further, if they themselves were involved in the boys disappearance. The film cannot answer any of the questions because the case of Nicholas’ disappearance remains open.
The extras on the DVD seem slim at first. There is a less than compelling trailer that doesn’t do the film justice. And there seems to be only one additional extra; the making of "The Imposter." But the ’making of’ extra actually contains multiple chapters on the filmmakers and the process of capturing this story on film (searching for the story, finding the characters, shooting the drama, editing the film and creating the music.) While these features are fascinating the story itself is so mind-bending that an unlimited supply of additional features would not be enough to satisfy your curiosity and you may find yourselves up all night googling Frederic Bourdin and the strange disappearance of Nicholas Barclay.
A&E IndieFilms, Film4, Protagonist Pictures
Available on Amazon