A still from The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alvaro Reyes.
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Double O Sergio is a Chilean spy. Sort of. He is a Double O old age pensioner recruited by a private investigator who needs someone to infiltrate a retirement home for a client who suspects her mother is being abused.

However, Sergio is 83, not 007, and not an easy trainee when it comes to technology and espionage. When it comes to gadgets, he’s a Q class klutz. Codes, cameras, and clandestine equipment confound him. But he is a keen student, looking for ways to distract himself after recently losing his wife. Yes, like James Bond, he is a widower.

And like James Bond he is suave and has a way with the opposite sex. While gathering intelligence, Sergio grows close to several residents and realises that the menacing truth beneath the surface is not what anyone suspected. The spectre of neglect and indifference.

Nominated this year for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, THE MOLE AGENT is a stylish combination of observational documentary and do it yourself spy movie.

In what could be blithely seen as On Her Majesty’s Senile Service, THE MOLE AGENT finds himself surrounded by a bevvy of women, all of whom find him wildly attractive, some of who offer up secrets and desires.

THE MOLE AGENT could well be a mission set up by unscrupulous relatives to litigate against the facility caring for their fragile elders, precipitating a die and let live scenario.

What it does show is the loneliness of the living daylights, aged care as caged care, where staff become surrogate family, and real families become forgotten or forgetful.

It seems you only live twice – once when you are young and vital, and once when you are failing and fragile in old age, – a licence to quilt, quaffing cocktail of pills, shuffling and shaken and slow to be stirred.

The man with the olden gum, THE MOLE AGENT has its moments but it is so ultimately sad.