The Mark Twain quote “truth is stranger than fiction” is oft-repeated in documentary reviews, and it’s tough to think of a film where the saying is more accurate than The Imposter, an eerie and fascinating docu-thriller being released nationwide this Friday. The premise hooks like a top-notch narrative: a 13-year-old boy disappears one summer evening outside of San Antonio in 1994; three and a half years later, someone claiming to be him turns up in a village in southern Spain, telling tales of kidnapping, torture and clandestine military sex rings. The apparently traumatized teenager is sent home to his overjoyed family, though as the title suggests, this person has actually taken on this young man’s identity, a con man trying to escape his own past. The twists and turns only pick up from there, inevitably leading to a rich conversation after the film ends and a possible realization that even you—your unflappable self—may have been duped.
The Imposter Gives a Startling Look at the Human Psyche