Film review: The Imposterby Listener Archive
Welcome to one of the most interesting documentaries you will see this year, says David Larsen.
Welcome to one of the most interesting documentaries you will see this year, although honesty requires me to admit that the only reason I fronted up to watch it after reading a brief story outline was that it’s my job. Thank goodness for my job.
In 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay vanished somewhere near his home in Texas. In 1997, someone claiming to be him turned up in Spain, with the wrong colour eyes, and a strong French accent: the result, he said, of years of systematic abuse at the hands of a cabal of high-ranking military officers. Nicholas Barclay’s mother and sister were in no doubt this was their missing boy.
This is where we are, a few minutes into the film: clearly, the new Nicholas is a fake, taking terrible advantage of a grief-deluded family, who will now have to lose their son and brother all over again, after first living for a while with the idea that he spent three years as a sex slave.
But debut director Bart Layton is about to construct a dazzling hall of mirrors, using many ingenious tricks to call our assumptions and sympathies into doubt. The result is undeniably disturbing, partly because it’s so very entertaining, facts of which Layton is clearly well aware. Given the gift of a genuinely stranger-than-fiction story, he manages to create
something stranger still: a film that turns tragedy inside out without trivialising it.
THE IMPOSTER, directed by Bart Layton
Films are rated out of 5: 1 = abysmal; 5 = amazing
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
65831 2017-01-11 16:05:11Z Health by Nicky Pellegrino
65592 2017-01-09 09:46:16Z Education by The Conversation
65251 2016-12-21 14:57:39Z Urbanism by Alice Harbourne
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage
66214 1/20/2017 3:16:05 PM
65525 1/20/2017 12:00:00 AM
66159 2017-01-19 09:16:27Z World by The Conversation Read more
65731 2017-01-19 00:00:00Z Social issues by Jenny Nicholls Read more
66153 2017-01-18 15:45:17Z Economy by RNZ Read more