Showing posts with label Bart Layton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bart Layton. Show all posts

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Imposter

In 1994 a thirteen year old Texan boy called Nicholas Barclay disappeared from San Antonio. Three years later his family received a call from a Spanish official, claiming that Nicholas had been abducted by a sex slave ring but was now with him in Spain. Despite Nicholas leaving as a thirteen year old with almost Aryan colouring and returning tanned with dark hair and eyes along with a foreign accent, the family accepted the boy who returned as their son. This documentary tells the story of Nicholas’ disappearance and the extraordinary events in 1997 when it seemed that he had returned.

The documentary is created using a mixture of talking heads; achieve home videos and convincing reconstructions which are themselves combined with the talking heads. Almost all of the major players in the story take part which is a little surprising as by the end hardly anyone comes out with any sort of credibility.

I went into this film knowing the story having read about it recently in a magazine. I knew very little about the film however and wasn’t actually sure if it was a documentary or drama. The film plays its cards very early and it isn’t exactly a spoiler, especially given the title, to tell you that the person who returns home in 1997 is not Nicholas Barclay. The real interest for the first half of the film at least, is how on earth this man managed to convince Spanish officials, the American Embassy and most incredibly the family of the missing boy that he was Nicholas. It’s almost too unreal to be true. Without giving too much away, the man who claims to be the boy is of French-Algerian descent and several years older than Barclay. He looks nothing like the boy.