24 August 2012

In the late 1990s, Frenchman Frédéric Bourdin presented himself to the Spanish authorities claiming to be the 16 year old Texan boy Nicholas Barclay who had been missing for the past three years. He had his story ready - that he had been kidnapped by an international vice ring - but he looked completely different from Nicholas. Nevertheless, the Barclays welcomed him back, apparently believing that the man with the European accent was their son. The story spread around the world, with surprisingly few people choosing to raise questions. This is the story of The Imposter

Directed by Bart Layton, The Imposter isn't your usual type of documentary. Often it seems to cross the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, mainly due to the fact that Layton is able to interview Bourdin himself who is extremely convincing. In an interview with The Guardian last weekend, Layton said,

"I started to realise that I was falling for the con, and that this master manipulator was doing to me what he'd done to everyone he'd come into contact with. That's when I thought maybe there was a different kind of film to made here. One where you're not looking at these characters and this chain of events through a microscope - you're  inside the story."

Possibly the scariest thing about this story is how practised Bourdin is at assuming identities - apparently over 500 - but in 2005 he vowed to stop. 

Tickets for The Imposter can be booked online, in person at the Box Office, or by calling 0871 902 5737.