In 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay disappeared without a trace while out playing basketball in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. More than three years passed — just long enough for Nicholas' family to abandon all hope of ever finding him alive — and then, in October of 1997, they received a phone call from the authorities in Linares, Spain, informing them that a young man claiming to be Nicholas had been found.
The boy's family accepted his reappearance as a miracle, ignoring the fact that the man claiming to be Nicholas had a French accent, was clearly in his 20s, and had different colored eyes and hair than the missing child. It's not spoiling anything to say that the man was not, in fact, Nicholas Barclay. So why would this man impersonate a missing child? More importantly, why would that child's family so readily accept his claims? Those questions form the basis for the gripping documentary "The Imposter," screening at the Dryden this Saturday. Through reenactments, as well as interviews with Nicholas' family and the man who impersonated him, director Bart Layton examines this most unusual case in a confidently told tale that's ultimately about the elusive nature of truth itself.
City spoke with "Ex Machina" director Alex Garland about moving into the director's chair.