Sunday, November 24, 2013

Film Review: The Imposter

Here was a small, independent film that we watched pretty much out of nowhere that was really good.

The Imposter is a documentary, though it does contain some fictional recreations mixed in with archival footage and numerous slices of interviews with the major players.  Though the film gives away the end result of the events the film covers in the first few minutes, the filmmakers are able to keep up the tension and mystery as to WHY the events occurred the way they did, throughout.

The story itself is, to be cliche, one of those where if you didn't know it was true, you wouldn't believe.  A boy who is missing from his San Antonio home for three years sees his identity stolen by a completely random, serial imposter from Spain.  The family of said boy, the Spanish authorities, American counsel employees and more are somehow "fooled" into thinking this 23 year old man is the 16 year old boy that has been missing for over three years.  All this despite his different color eyes, hair and inability to speak English without an accent.

Each party has their own reason for "believing" that this is the missing boy and the cascading party of errors ends with the "boy" living with his family in San Antonio until the farce is revealed with the perpetrator (?) of THIS crime ending in jail and then being returned to France.  Following along with this story you shake your head in disbelief numerous times, though in this modern world we've all seen stranger things.

Its a relatively short film, coming in at about an hour and 40 minutes with no fluff.  Its an excellent examination of social engineering and human motivations in an extremely strange but true story.

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