Can hope trigger hallucination to the magnitude that one accepts the homecoming of a family member after a little over three years where the change of appearance and speech is remarkable to the point of impossible?
That’s the premise of THE IMPOSTER, a documentary of a story so improbable it beggars belief.
Nicholas Barclay is a thirteen year old Texan who vanishes seemingly into thin air. Three and a half years later, his family is informed that he has been located in Spain. According to the traumatised teen, he was abducted by white slavers for sexual servitude in a situation that erased his natural speech and caused some kind of cultural amnesia.
Astonishingly, this is accepted by the American authorities in Spain who issue him with a passport and even more astonishingly by his mother, sister, and brother in law. The kidnapped kid, who would be 17 years old tops, with blue eyes, presents as a much older person with brown eyes, and an accent compatible with an English as second language speaker. But the folks figuratively lay out the fatted cow for the fellow, embracing him to their bosom, dismissing all doubt about his bona fides.
Its incomprehensible that the inconsistencies are so glaring and that the family blithely turn a blind eye to them. Is it born of a desperation to believe their kin has returned or a desperation more sinister.
The imposter becomes a composter of subterfuge, discombobulation, and deceit that has a seasoned FBI agent stymied and a dogged gumshoe determined to discover where the truth lies.
Documentarian Bart Layton fuses confessional interviews with dramatic re-enactment to deliver a film that is incomparable in its incredulity, a film of fooling, fibbing and fakery of unfathomable proportions.
What unfolds is a movie about a master masquerade, a charming chameleon charlatan challenging fact to fall to fiction in a charade that shook and shattered logic, yielding reason to illusion.
Stranger than fiction, full of stuff and nonsense, the preposterous THE IMPOSTER is a compulsively riveting expose of the implausible, the gullible and the guilty on a collision course.
THE IMPOSTER (M) Available on DVD and digital download from Madman from July 17.