Dir: Bart Layton
Featuring: Frédéric Bourdin
The Film: The truth is certainly stranger than fiction, and one of the most unusual stories that has come out as a doco/drama in recent years is THE IMPOSTER. I was unfamiliar with this story when I stepped into watch the film for the first time (I have since rewatched it three times), and I purposely avoided reading too much about it. There was a lot of buzz surrounding the film, and naturally that got me very curious. The film itself is not a let down, it is as strange of a story as they can get and it opens up for a lot of questions, which do remain answered. This is a case that could very well go on and on for years without any real answers.
The story at hand is about a boy Nicholas Barclay, in 1994 at age 13 in Texas he goes missing. Then some three years later the family gets a call saying Nicholas has been found, in Spain. However, the boy who was found is not in fact Nicholas but Frédéric Bourdin, a man in his early 20’s posing as Nicholas. Frédéric is an imposter and he has lived a lot of his life pretending to be someone else, but this big lie isn’t found out straight away. No Frédéric actually gets taken in as Nicholas, and the family claim to have no idea that he isn’t Nicholas.
I really love the way the story is told, we get first hand accounts from those involved including the imposter himself Frédéric Bourdin and the family members of Nicholas Barclay. Overlapping there is also real footage, and re-enactment footage that comes together to tell this story. The family of Nicholas come across as very natural and one has to wonder, how did they not know that it wasn’t Nicholas. However at the same time Frédéric Bourdin is kind of an enigma, he isn’t someone who you automatically hate, he’s quite charismatic and even sympathetic and he does make you question your own thoughts on the matter.
This is not a straight forward documentary, it does play out very dramatic and intense with twists along the way. It is refreshing because it is very different, and it does attempt to present the facts and remain unbiased. Because of this approach it does remain as mysterious at the end as it does when it starts. There are so many unanswered questions, and this kind of adds to the experience of the film. Without a doubt this was one of the top films of 2012, one I highly recommend people do seek out and watch. You wont find anything else like it out there and I guarantee this story will haunt you for days after you’ve seen it.
The Australian DVD
Audio/Video: The video is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen, audio is Dolby 5.1
The video looks fantastic, I thought the transfer was nicely handled. It is rather clear and it keeps a certain type of aura about it. The audio is very sharp and clear, and easy to hear.
* Audio Commentary with director Bart Layton
* Making The Imposter
* Theatrical trailer
The extras that are includes here are really good, and with a film like this absolutely more than welcome.
Since the first time I watched the film, I was hoping that the DVD would come with audio commentary and I was not let down. The audio commentary is fascinating, it is really good to hear about how the film came about and why it was done and edited the way it was. Bart is a very interesting man to listen to, and after watching the film this is a must.
The making of feature is handled very well, it is put together almost like the film is, and it is quite engaging and it is a very interesting experience. It is the perfect companion to go along with the film, and it offers some good insight into it.
The podcasts extra is basically just an extension of the making of, and well worth the time to check out.
Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.