'The Imposter'

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SXSW Film

The Imposter

Festival Favorites
D: Bart Layton

On its surface, The Imposter is a documentary about a young boy's disappearance and the bizarre, possibly sociopathic opportunist who attempted to assume his identity. Digging more deeply, the film is also about the lengths to which people will go to deceive themselves and others. What lies will people tell themselves when they desperately want – or need – them to be true? Just as the true story pushes the boundaries of believability, so do the film's narrative techniques push the boundaries of the documentary trope. The dramatized scenes bleed into the narration and clips of old American police shows are spliced in to stand in for the act of calling the police; these are just two of the ways the filmmakers comment upon how various layers of simulacra factor into daily existence. When the commingling of fantasy and reality constantly fog the consciousness, it's a wonder any of us can tell which end is up.


Thursday, March 15, 7:15pm, Alamo Lamar

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