Best of Hot Docs: An Honest Liar

(USA, 2014, 91 mins)

Showtimes

There will be a Q&A over Skype with co-director Tyler Measom after both screenings of An Honest Liar.

James "The Amazing" Randi is an 85-year-old magician and escape artist who’s been enchanted with illusions from a young age. Dedicating his life to learning the tricks of the trade, Randi became a sensation who toured the world, always honest about being a “liar, cheat and charlatan.” When people start using the same tricks but calling themselves "psychics"—like spoon-bender Uri Geller or "faith-healing" like televangelist Peter Popoff—Randi is angry and afraid for the people who are duped. Devoting himself to a new cause, Randi follows the deceivers from city to city, publicly debunking their claims. But when the FBI arrests Randi’s partner of 26 years for identity fraud, the layers of deception become blurred.

"Directors Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom apply the same relentless scrutiny to their subject that Randi brings to bear on the phonies he exposes."NOW Toronto

"(The filmmakers) turn a standard bio-doc about an extraordinary man into a rumination on the blurred line between trickery and truth."Toronto Star