James Randi has two careers. First, he is, for lack of a better term, a magician. Second, he is a debunker of people who claim to be psychics, or say they talk to God, or claim to do things of a supernatural nature that can't possibly be true.

Randi says on more than one occasion in An Honest Liar that he hates liars, and he made a point of telling audiences that his job was to trick them (and therefore to avoid being caught in a lie). Such is the irony, then, that he spent most of his life concealing two large secrets.

Anyone raised in the 1960s, '70s and '80s probably knows what those secrets are, but it's essential to the documentary that they be revealed on their own terms (pity; I love spoilers!). Randi makes a fascinating figure, with his slight stature, boundless energy and mischievous but warm smile.

Directors Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein balance well stories of Randi’s personal and professional lives and make this short-ish movie rush along at a pleasant clip. It’s all rather delightful, and the human drama is touching. How could it not be? Any movie with the name An Honest Liar has to be good.

AN HONEST LIAR
Directed by Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein
With James Randi
CCA Cinematheque
NR
92 min.