When you are a parent, one of the most frigtening experiences is when you can’t find your child. With three kids in the house it’s one we haved experienced twice, with one of the kids not being home at the time we agreed upon. You wait a bit longer, but when they don’t show up a sense of panic starts to develop and you go out of the house to try and locate them. When you can’t you really start to freak out and even if you try to stay positive you can’t help thinking of the worst. The family of Nicholas Barclay has experienced that situation and weren’t able to find him anymore. To their surprise the got a call a couple of years later out of Spain where they heard that Nicholas was found. They must have been overjoyed by it and went to pick him up, but as the title of this documentary already suggests, they didn’t meet the person who they thought they were meeting.
As I was watching this documentary I kept wondering why this family believed that this person was Nicholas, sure children change, but when that person is so very different, why would you hold on to that. Is it desperation, wanting to have someone to love or care for or something completely different? It’s very hard to understand. Director Bart Layton interviews all parties which were involved in the case and has crafted a thrilling movie to watch. It uses the interviews, mixed with archival footage and recreations (like the Thin Blue Line did) to paint a compelling picture of an unbelievable story.
After watching it I still had questions which weren’t answered, but I really didn’t mind that, because life doesn’t always give you an answer to everything. What it does is makes you think about the human psyche, what people are willing to believe and to find out which lengths an imposter is willing to go trhough in order to create a believable story. This is one of the best documentaries out this year and if you are a fan of the genre one you should be checking out.