A recommendation: The Imposter

Director, Bart Layton

Starring, Adam O’Brian, Carey Gibson & Frederic Bourdin

Synopsis: A documentary centered on a young Frenchman who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

For me, this film came out of nowhere. I missed its cinematic run and only came across it after it was featured in a copy of Total Film magazine. The Imposter tells the story of French con artist Frederic Bourdin, who manages to trick his way into a small town American family in the belief he is missing family member of 3 years, Nicholas Gibson.

Many questions are asked, not all of them are answered. For instance, why would the Gibson’s take a complete stranger into their house? Did they believe Bourdin was genuinely Nicholas or did they just want him to be Nicholas? Was there an ulterior motive to the families acceptance of this stranger among them, or were they innocent and Bourdin was just a very convincing liar?

Certainly looking from the outside in it’s very easy to question the stupidity of the Gibson family for allowing this chameleon into their home and seeing how he managed to concoct so many lies and not get caught sooner. In fact, if it wasn’t for the efforts of a private investigator and a suspicious FBI agent, Bourdin may still be living in the United States as Nicholas Gibson and no one would be any the wiser.

As we follow the story the mystery grows ever deeper. It’s a brilliant feat by the director to be able to build such tension in a film like this, using facts and true life testimonies to build an unbelievable tale where we are completely none the wiser at any point during the film as to who is actually telling the truth.

For a documentary, The Imposter is genuinely breathtaking. Moving quicker than a Hollywood thriller and a thousand times more intriguing. This true story is both gripping and shocking and completely worthy of your attention.

Link: IMDB, The Imposter

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