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Screener Squad: The Mole Agent

The Mole Agent Movie Review


Heartwarming, cinema verité, and nursing homes aren’t words you typically associate with spy movies, but “The Mole Agent” isn’t your typical spy movie; nor is it a typical documentary. The latest feature from Chilean documentary filmmaker Maite Alberdi blends spy tropes, a fly on the wall shooting style, and a cast of elderly non-actors to tell the fictional story of Sergio, an 83-year-old widower hired to spy on a nursing home. Posing as a resident, the good-natured Sergio is charged with keeping tabs on a client’s elderly mother to ensure that she is not being mistreated. His employer provides Sergio with an array of spy gear including a smartphone, eyeglasses that can record video, and a microphone hidden inside of a pen. Comically and predictably, Sergio struggles with the technology, but thanks to his kind, empathetic nature, he’s an immediate hit with the other residents. It doesn’t hurt that the recently single Sergio is one of the only men in a nursing home full of elderly women.

The more Sergio gets to know the women of the nursing home, the more he comes to sympathize with their fears of abandonment and their struggles to maintain their dignity in the face of mental and physical decline. Eventually, the gentle spy comedy becomes a thoughtful meditation on aging, mortality and the fear of being abandoned by one’s own children. Our crew of dis-orderlies Bradley, Jordan, Spider-Mike, and Marco had a lot of feels watching this movie, but some of those feels were decidedly mixed. Listen as we discuss whether this hybrid of documentary style realism and metafictional narrative worked for them, the pain of providing tech support to elderly people, and why you should probably call your parents, you ungrateful jerks.


DIRECTED BY: Maite Alberdi

STARRING: N/A (weirdly)

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