Practising to Deceive

This is my review of The Imposter [DVD].

Thirteen-year-old Nicholas disappears in rural Texas and turns up just over three years later in Spain. His sister flies over and accepts him readily. But the audience is told from the outset that he is in fact a twenty-three-year-old imposter. How does he manage to fool her, and convince us that the situation is plausible? Why would the sister allow herself to be duped? Where is the real Nicholas?

This documentary mixes current interviews, past TV and home movie clips and reconstructions to weave an intriguing tale in which information is dribbled out cleverly to arouse our interest and shift our viewpoints continually.

The filming is often blurred through the use of old film footage, or the desire to make the reconstructions more convincing. At a few points the picture broke up to such a degree or the screen went black so that I thought our dodgy local film projection had failed again. Apart from this questionable attempt to add to the sense of confusion, "The Imposter" is an effective film with an unusual approach to the tragedy of the children who disappear and the long-term effects on their families.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Stars

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