Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Union of the Snake

UPDATE (04/04/19): For people who cannot fathom why someone would falsely claim to be a missing child named Timmothy Pitzen, may I refer you to this old post?

Over the weekend we saw "The Imposter." It's only July, but I don't see any way this film cannot win the Academy Award for best documentary.

In 1994, a 14-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed boy named Nicholas Barclay went missing in San Antonio. Three years later, the family learned that he had turned up in Spain, having been kidnapped and forced into a child prostitution ring. Overcome with emotion, Nicholas' 31-year-old half sister flew to Europe to bring him home, and the family seemed to be happily reunited. There was just one problem: It wasn't Nicholas -- it was a 23-year-old serial con man named Frédéric Bourdin. How Bourdin, who has brown hair, brown eyes and a thick French accent, was able to convince the authorities -- and Nicholas' entire family -- must be seen to be believed.

There was a great article about Bourdin in The New Yorker five years ago, but trust me when I say the less you know going into the film the better. (I've just told you everything you need.) "The Imposter" is the most confounding piece of work I have seen since "Capturing the Friedmans" came out nearly a decade ago, and it will leave you reeling as you question everything you know about love, family and basic common sense.

Only watch if you must:

1 comment:

Cheeky Observer said...

Have you seen the hollywood version of this story, "The Chameleon" with Ellen Barkin? A poorly realized film, but a fascinating story. Thanks for posting about this documentary. Can't wait to see it.