The Imposter

The Imposter

Directed by: Bart Layton
95 minutes

New England Premiere


In 1994, a 13-year-old boy named Nicholas Barclay vanishes from his home in San Antonio, Texas. More than three years later, Spanish police receive a call about a scared teenager who seems disoriented and alone. The police pick up the young man, who eventually claims to be Nicholas Barclay. Nicholas’s family is contacted and, baffled but grateful, arranges to travel to Spain to bring him home. Only the young man is not 16-year-old Nicholas; he’s a mysterious 23-year-old French drifter named Frédéric Bourdin.

What follows is a gripping tale of suspense that rivals any fictional thriller. From the outset, the film makes it clear that Frédéric deliberately posed as Nicholas, but this knowledge does not detract from the story’s intrigue. Why do the authorities so readily believe Frédéric’s story? Why does Nicholas’s family overlook glaring physical differences between Frédéric and Nicholas? What will happen when Frédéric is forced to “remember” people and places he’s never seen before? And is there yet another, deeply sinister layer to Nicholas’s disappearance? THE IMPOSTER spins an utterly riveting mystery about the fluidity of identity, the long-reaching affects of trauma, and the astounding lengths to which people who need each other will go to create reality from their deepest desires.

—Kristina Aikens