Documentarian Bart Layton tackles a true-crime story that bounds past the limits of the outlandishly bizarre in The Imposter. If films are to be exploratory paths in understanding the human condition, Layton’s latest may well be a narrow road to a scarring truth with no way back. More story details in the official synopsis as follows:

“The twisting, turning tale begins with an unsettling disappearance – that of Nicholas Barclay, a 13 year-old Texas boy who vanishes without a trace. Three and a half years later, staggering news arrives: the boy has been found, thousands of miles from home in Spain, saying he survived a mind-boggling ordeal of kidnap and torture by shadowy captors. His family is ecstatic to have him back no matter how strange the circumstances – but things become far stranger once he returns to Texas.

Though the family accepts him, suspicion surrounds the person who claims to be Nicholas. How could the Barclay’s blonde, blue-eyed son have returned with darker skin and eyes? How could his personality and even accent have changed so profoundly? Why does the family not seem to notice the glaring differences? And if this person who has arrived in Texas isn’t the Barclay’s missing child . . . who on earth is he? And what really happened to Nicholas?

Director Bart Layton fuses confessional interviews, strikingly creative re-enactments and suspenseful storytelling into a film that asks the audience to play detective – as they ferret out the blurred evidence between a family who seems desperate to believe, a private investigator obsessed with resolution and a lonely thief whose only loot is human identities. Yet, just when it seems the puzzle of Nicholas Barclay has come together, another corkscrew twist turns everything upside down – and draws the audience deeper into THE IMPOSTER’S lacerating questions about truth, perception and why people are so tempted to pretend, to fib and, most of all, to fool ourselves.”

Watch the theatrical trailer embedded down below!

The Imposter, 2012
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