Yesterday I was home sick from work and decided to rent a movie, actually a documentary.
As a veteran of Dateline mysteries and a fan of the best voice-over man in the biz, Keith Morrision, I am a grizzled veteran of true-crime mysteries. Suffice it to say, I am not easily surprised or shocked.
Yesterday, my jaw hit the ground.
The documentary I rented is called “The Imposter.” It tells the story of a 13 year old boy who went missing in San Antonio, Texas in 1994. In 1997, the family gets a call from the police in Spain saying that they have found him. As you can tell by the title of the documentary, it really isn’t him, it is an imposter.
The documentary is done partially with a style that any Dateline viewer would be familiar, utilizing interviews with all the main characters to tell the story. But in reality, the whole story is narrated by the perpetrator of the fraud itself. With that narration they seamlessly weave in historical footage and movie quality re-enactments using the real interviews as voice-over. With this technique they are really able to tell a complete story and build drama. The production values are really good.
Leaving the technical aspects aside, the story is completely riveting. We see how the young man conducted the fraud and made his way to the U.S. We see how he fools the family. And then we see some people finally start to suspect that something is wrong. And then, and then…
I can’t tell you what happens then, but the story is absolutely riveting and jaw-dropping. The whole story is about lies. The lies we tell, the lies we believe, and the truth is strangest part of all.
There is some rough language in this documentary and some subject matter not suitable for children, but if you like the Dateline mysteries, you absolutely must see The Imposter.
I still can’t believe it.