The Imposter (2012 film)
|Directed by||Bart Layton|
|Produced by||Dimitri Doganis|
|Music by||Anne Nikitin|
|Cinematography||Erik Alexander Wilson
|Editing by||Andrew Hulme|
Randy Murray Productions
|Distributed by||Picturehouse Entertainment
|Running time||99 minutes|
The Imposter is a 2012 British documentary film about the 1997 case of the French confidence man Frédéric Bourdin, who impersonated Nicholas Barclay, a Texas boy who had disappeared at the age of 13 in 1994.
The film mixes real and played interviews, real and played tv images, and other reenacted drama sequences, where it is not always clear for the viewer what is real. It contains an interview with the real Frédéric Bourdin, and interviews with some real members of the American family.
Bourdin, who turned out to have a long record of impersonating various different children, real or imaginary, embellished his claim to be Nicholas by alleging that he had been kidnapped for purposes of sexual abuse by Mexican, European, and U.S. military personnel and transported from Texas to Spain. His impersonation fooled several officials in Spain and the U.S., and he was apparently accepted by many of Nicholas' family members, even though he was seven years older than Nicholas, spoke with a strange accent, and had brown eyes and dark hair rather than Nicholas' blue eyes and blond hair. The impersonation was eventually unearthed as a result of the suspicions of a private investigator, Charles (Charlie) Parker, and an FBI agent, Nancy Fisher. Bourdin subsequently made a full confession, and in the movie he elaborates on the various stages in his impersonation.
The film raises, but does not resolve, the question of how the family came so readily to accept the impersonation. Parker, Fisher and Bourdin himself suggest, but cannot provide conclusive evidence for, the possibility that some in the family may have known more than they revealed about (or even been directly implicated in) Nicholas' disappearance, in which case his purported "reappearance" could have proved convenient from their point of view.
Director Bart Layton has produced, written, and directed several television documentaries, but this film is his feature film debut. Producer Dimitri Doganis has produced many television documentary films and series.
- Frédéric Bourdin
- Carey Gibson
- Beverly Dollarhide
- Bryan Gibson
- Codey Gibson
- Nancy Fisher
- Charlie Parker
- Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D
- Philip French
- Drama sequences
- Adam O'Brian as Frédéric Bourdin
- Anna Ruben as Carey Gibson
- Cathy Dresbach as Nancy Fisher
- Alan Teichman as Charlie Parker
- Ivan Villanueva as Social Worker
- Maria Jesus Hoyos as Judge
- Anton Marti as Male Police Officer
- Amparo Fontanet as Female Police Officer
- Ken Appledorn as U.S. Embassy Official
The film has received almost universal critical acclaim – hailed as one of the stand-out films of Sundance 2012 – and gained a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 96%. The film received a Grand Jury documentary prize at the Miami International Film Festival, and was nominated for a grand jury world documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It won the Filmmakers' award at the HotDoc doc festival in Toronto. To date,[when?] the film has been in official selection for the following international film festivals: SXSW, Edinburgh, True False, New Zealand, Sydney, Perth, Seattle, San Sebastian and continues to garner largely 4 and 5 star reviews. It was nominated for six British Independent Film Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Debut Director, Best Technical Achievement- Editing, Best Achievement in Production, and Best Documentary. It was also shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. It was nominated for 2 BAFTA's, winning 1.
UK-based film magazine Total Film gave the film a five-star review (denoting 'outstanding'): "Creepier than Catfish and as cinematic as Man On Wire, this is an unnerving story immaculately told and a strong contender for doc of the year."
- The Imposter at Box Office Mojo
- "The Imposter". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- "15 Documentary Features Advance In 2012 Oscar® Race". oscars.org. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- Adam O'Brian- Official Website,
- Academy Award,
- "The Imposter Review". Total Film. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Bradshaw, Peter (August 23, 2012). "The Imposter – review". The Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
- "The Imposter | 2012 Seattle International Film Festival | Bart Layton | United Kingdom". Seattle International Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-06-12.