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Documentary Review | Con Man

Con Man (PN 1995.96 .C66 C66 2006) tells the story of a mysterious Princeton track star James Houge after it is discovered he has committed fraud in order to be accepted into the university. More and more stories of deception and false identities are unraveled as efforts are made to find out who this man really is. Houge’s life is so full secrets that even the people closest to him had no idea who he really was, or even what his real name is.

This documentary interviewed Houge’s classmates and friends, and I found it interesting to see how they grappled with the shocking truth about their friend. But that shock turned into acceptance and understanding as they learned the motives behind Houge’s behavior.  I think this documentary did an excellent job of understanding criminals instead of immediately dehumanizing them, but I think the film could benefit more with a more chronological structure.

Written by: Michelle Greenwood

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