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The Imposter 

Fact is stranger than fiction in this documentary

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The most bizarre story and astounding characters all happen to be true in the engrossing documentary The Imposter. Telling the story of Frederic Bourdin, a 23-year-old French drifter who in 1994 assumed the identity of a missing American teenager, filmmaker Bart Layton mixes unreliable interviews with misdirecting recreations in an attempt to understand why a grieving family would welcome a stranger as their lost son. Bourdin, a wily sprite of a man with an unnerving amount of luck for deception, is just one of half a dozen impossibly unrealistic characters throughout the film. That includes a slick southern P.I. named Charlie Parker who seems to have jumped straight out of a Coen brothers movie. A magic trick of a documentary, The Imposter lulls its audience into laughing at its undeniably weird premise, making it all the more disturbing when the real mysteries start to appear.

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Vol 24, No 27
December 1, 2016

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