After making waves at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Bart Layton‘s doc/thriller “The Imposter” is slowly creeping audiences out as it unspools across the United States and unveils at festivals around the globe. The film tells the true and twisted tale of a 13-year-old boy who disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas in 1994 only to return three and half years later. However, just as it looks like a happy ending is in place, one detective on the case begins noticing inconsistencies between the boy that disappeared and the boy that returned. Surely, that in itself is enough to sell your ticket? If not that, then how about this trippy alternate poster for the film?
“I feel the kind of drama done in documentary is so rarely done well,” Layton explained to us earlier this year about his approach that utilizes re-enactments to tell the story. “I think it’s very dangerous if you try to shoot something to tell the audience that this is real, like shooting something as verite or a fake archive, because you’re trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. I wanted it to feel hyper-real or dream-like, to not say that this is exactly what happened, but that instead you’re spending time in their memories or their subjective version of the story. So I thought it should have a very cinematic look, quite painterly with lots of conflicting color temperatures and a real strong look to it — I shot it in different speeds, etc. Essentially you are in someone’s subjective version of the event.”
Our review described the film as “a great commentary on the subjectivity of any event, and one that probes deeply into the motivations of its subjects. And while in a beautiful way it declines to judge either side’s observations and arguments, its examination of that nebulous space between one perspective and another reveals more about both parties than any concrete definition of the truth ever could.” So all this is to say, it’s worth tracking down if it’s playing near you. [FirstShowing]