The Imposter centers around a young man from France who gets by in life impersonating runaway teenagers. This story is heartbreaking and unfortunately 100% real.
A boy named Nicholas disappears from San Antonio, Texas. Three years and four months later he “resurfaces” in Spain. The family gets a phone call from the American Embassy saying the Spanish police have Nick and he needs to be picked up. The audience watches, horrified, thinking that his sister will certainly recognize him. Sadly it doesn’t happen. He fools everyone for months—it’s disgusting and terrifying.
Director Bart Layton brilliantly chose to combine the standard documentary style of filmmaking with a dramatization of the boy’s story to better pull the audience into the overall narrative. It reads more like film noir than a documentary as the viewers begin to feel for the family and hate the man who is ruining their lives for the second time. This is one I would watch over and over again just to study the nuances of the imposter himself. He’s a master manipulator and it is enthralling and aggravating to watch him spread his malice everywhere.
It is impossible to fully convey the emotions that rise to the surface while witnessing this criminal act take place. I cannot stress to you how much you need to see this movie. It really is an impressive feat.
The Imposter is competing in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.