Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Imposter (2012)

Director: Bart Layton. 99 min. Rated R. UK. Documentary.

I was recently watching a documentary on film history, which said ever since we saw those planes hitting the towers on 9/11, watching real life drama unfold on-screen has become much more captivating than fiction. The Imposter is an attestation to that claim. A family in Texas, whose 13-year-old disappeared three years ago, are told their son has been found ... in Spain. But is it the same person? I wouldn't spoil anything beyond that, because this true story is so mysterious and twists on itself and changes gears so many times, you'll just be dumbfounded at the end.

Update: This is available for free on YouTube, here. Thank you, Maryam, for the heads up.

Update #2: Fascinating interview with "The Imposter" himself, Frédéric Bourdin, here. Beware: spoilers abound.

Update #3: Reza tells me the YouTube link doesn't work anymore. Bummer.

Mo says:


  1. This really was one of the most bizarre stories I've ever heard! The Imposter himself was a thoroughly despicable individual but the family at the centre of the story were just as bad. They really did deserve each other.
    Thanks for the tip, I'd probably never have seen this otherwise!



    What mystifies me is that there are two very distinct possibilities of what actually happened here:

    1. The family's grief was so severe, they were desperate to accept *anybody* as their son after his three-year disappearance.

    2. The family is a fraud bigger than the Imposter himself, and found the Impostor as the best scapegoat, because they had truly killed their own son.

    The documentary is very wise at not suggesting which possibility it supports.

    I heard this somewhat related commentary on the radio on my drive to work this morning. When you lose a loved one, the human psyche really goes into overdrive:

  3. the video is no longer available on youtube :(

  4. Sorry! Wish you could watch it.


  5. It is available here: Just close the annoying pop ups and chose the putlocker download. You can of course just stream it.

  6. Mohsen, As an eternal skeptic, I have to go with possibility 2.

  7. Thank you for the link, Mike. Actually a friend in Canada recommended that site to me for the same movie, and when I tried it, it downloaded lots of bugs on my PC. I guess it works fine in non-US countries. :-(

  8. And yes, I'm inclined towards the second scenario too.