I hate to be repetitive during my reviews, and I know this is a cliché; but “truth is stranger than fiction.” If I not seen the documentary “The Imposter” with my own eyes, I would never believe it that this could have happened.
Bart Layton has put together a documentary, which uses reenactments and real testimony by the people involved, to reconstruct an amazing tale of identity theft. On June 13th , 1994, 13 year-old Nicholas Barclay of San Antonio, Texas, argues with his mother and then leaves the house to go play basketball with his friends: He is never seen again. Fast forward three years and a 16 year-old boy is found in a phone booth in Spain by police after receiving a phone call by so-called tourists indicating that he is distressed. The police bring him in and try to find out who he is, but the boy is uncommunicative. During an interview he tells police that he would like to call home in private and a phone is brought in. The boy makes a phone call to the New York City Police Department and while pretending to be an officer of the law, he starts asking questions about missing children. When the Nicholas Barclay file is mentioned he tells N.Y.P.D that they have the Barclay boy.
The missing boy tells police in Spain an incredible story about how the U.S. military kidnapped him and others to use as sex slaves. He claims he has been moved from location to location and raped and tortured, but that he knows nothing else. The boy’s sister and mother are then contacted and told that they have Nicholas. Nicholas’ sister flies to Spain to pick up her brother, and upon meeting him she breaks down during an emotional reunion. The boy remains unusually aloof and distant while his sister hugs him.
A couple of contradictions struck me right off the bat. Nicholas Barclay had blond hair and blue eyes. This boy had dark hair, which he had bleached, and also had blue eyes. He also did not look like he was 16 years-old. He had a dark five o’clock shadow on his face which is not consistent with a fair complexion. Who is this guy and why does his sister think he is her brother? Does she want her brother back so bad that she is not thinking clearly or is there another motive? You will need to find out for yourself. This is a shocker. Big thumbs up. Rent it at Redbox.
My Rating: 4 of 5 Imposters.