Life expectancy has been steadily rising since the Industrial Revolution in the ‘First World’. This has been largely thanks to improvements in standards of living, healthcare availability and scientific breakthroughs. Along with decades of (relative) peace, this has led to aging populations. Public services and elderly care have failed to keep up, whilst diseases such as dementia have become huge national problems. At the same time, family and support circles have dwindled. This is the background to The Mole Agent.
Detective Romulo is in a bit of a spot. The private eye has a difficult case to crack and no one suitable for the job. That’s where Sergio comes in. After answering an ad and fulfilling the criteria (aged between 80-90, check. Comfortable with modern technology, err..) he goes undercover in a retirement home. His mission is to see whether a resident is being mistreated, but his professionalism has to be called into question.
The Mole Agent is a brilliantly conceived documentary which tackles issues around loneliness and how, as a society, we treat our elderly. Maite Alberdi’s premise is ingenious. However, what starts out as an amusing espionage caper soon turns into something else as Sergio becomes part of the community. By the end, The Mole Agent transforms into a poignant and compassionate portrait of humanity and tenderness.
The Mole Agent released in cinemas and on demand on 11 December.