Festival Film: The Mole Agent




An entertaining spy movie that takes a serious and warm-hearted look at old age.

Romulo (Romulo Aitken) is a private detective who has a request from a client to find out how her mother is being treated while in the care of a Catholic nursing home in San Francisco, Chile. She suspects  her mother may be being abused.

Romulo advertises in a newspaper for a man between the ages of 80 to 90, with some technical ability, to take up residence in the home for three months, to act as a spy – reporting to him of any wrong doings.



Many unsuitable applicants, struggling to use their smart phones apply, but finally well-dressed and independently minded Sergio (Sergio Chamy) is chosen. After some arrangements with his family, and training from Romulo in the use of his mobile phone, a code, a camera pen and video camera glasses, which he struggles to use, he joins the inmates (40 women and four men).

The staff and residents are told that a crew is making a film about the daily life in a nursing home and soon become used to the idea of being photographed.



Charming and well-spoken Sergio is a hit with the ladies who he befriends in his often bumbling efforts to spy on his uncommunicative target, the mother of Romulo’s client. Life in the home is a stimulating change from his recently widowed existence at home. And he develops a sense of purpose in brightening the lives of others.

Through his compassionate conversations we come to understand that though they are well cared for, many occupants are from a forgotten world. Some are lonely or depressed, abandoned by their families and without visitors.



Director Maite Alberdi ( who made The Grown Ups, a film about Down’s syndrome children) makes documentary films about people who society does not integrate. Her style of every day story-telling highlights issues relating to disability and marginalization. This  film is both comical and touching.

84 minutes.

Chilean Spanish language with English sub-titles.

March 29 & 31, April 2, Somerville Auditorium


Watch the trailer…