Mole’s agent proves that just a conversation about nothing is a lot sometimes

In fact, the same applies to the work of private investigators as the problem that plagues many films: if people only talk to each other, then there is no issue. In any case, Chilean documentary filmmaker Maiti Albardi alluded to this when she did a short “internship” at an investigative agency, which did well in these uncertain times.

He led her to the alluring and bizarre documentary Mole AgentAnd, in fact, it’s exactly that journey: from a world of mistrust to a world of conversation. The focus is on the 83-year-old Sergio, who was hired by special investigator Romulo to work in a nursing home. The friendly old man disguises himself as the “mole” of a female agent who fears her mother will be attacked or robbed in the house.

Albardi is a favorite at the Edfa Documentary Festival, where she presented her first three feature films Watchman (2011), tea time (2014) in grown ups (2016) has won awards every time. Mole Agent It is the first of her films to hit Dutch cinemas outside the festival, and she has also been eagerly selected in the rest of the world for festival screenings and (online) releases. It’s not hard to see why: “secrecy in a retirement home” is a salable and intriguing premise, and Albardi’s performance is just as friendly and funny as the main character Sergio.

In the film’s opening, he is cast by Romulo with a selection session, as he has to beat a good handful of other ’80s. In these early scenes, Alberdi uses the bold design of film noir: the detective wears a shabby jacket and suspenders over his shirt, and the desk littered with file cabinets is drenched in the harsh shadow lines of the curtains.

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Although Romulo chooses a mole carefully, it soon appears that the career of a detective is not exactly for Sergio. The first problem: he cannot understand pen cameras and smartphones, while he will need that technology to collect evidence and report it to the president.

Even more difficult is that Sergio, who has only recently become a widower, does not seem to be at all compatible with the distance needed for his espionage targets. He soon became friends with many other residents. Especially the ladies in the house love to be delighted with his attention. Whenever Sergio abandons the detective role and allows herself to be herself, Alberdi ditches the police style of her film.

What remains is the dry comedic streak that defines all of her films, and a warm and compassionate look at the loneliness of her old age. A movie that proves that just a conversation about nothing is a lot sometimes.

Mole Agent

Director Mighty papyrus
To see In De Balie, Filmhall, Rialto, Studio / K.

Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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