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Director Bart Layton at "The Imposter" premiere in New York (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Director Bart Layton at “The Imposter” premiere in New York (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The British documentary The Imposter – one of the most buzzed about films on the festival circuit – finally arrives in cinemas today (July 13).

It tells the very unusual real-life story of Frederic Bourdin – a French-Algerian man living in Spain in the 1990’s – who convinced a Texas family that he was their missing son.

What makes it all the more remarkable is that Bourdin bore little physical resemblance to the son – and he spoke with a French accent.

Bart Layton, the film’s British director says: “Audiences have just been completely kind of gobsmacked that it’s a true story and that it’s a documentary. We’ve had people raising their hands saying, ‘Is this based on a true story?’ because it is extraordinary.”

The documentary as a piece of filmmaking shines – it’s had some very good reviews – it’s a compelling thoughtful and thought-provoking work that raises a lot of questions.

“It’s as much about self-deception as it is about deception, and I think you question how a family could fail to know their own kid, but then how much can you deceive yourself if you need to believe it for whatever reason?,” says Layton.

Nicholas Barclay still remains missing in Texas.

Frederic Bourdin – after serving jail time – stole the identity of other missing individuals. He’s now living in Paris with a wife and three children.

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Filed Under: Bart Layton, The Imposter
By Tom Brook