As an old couple under lockdown for months we have been viewing an awful lot of TV (films, series,   documentaries, zooms) and had to bend to each other’s choices…. 

On my first viewing  I did not realise that The Mole Agent was categorised as a documentary.  I just did not understand what it was trying to say. That women in homes are lonely in spite of good care? I left the film aside. 

The major reviewers before the Academy Awards were highly complimentary. But I agreed with Bradshaw in the Guardian. ….    I couldn’t make friends with this film because of its pointless and twee contrivance, which undermined its genuine ideas. Not fakery exactly, but an exasperating lack of candour as to how this whole thing has been set up.

I found the film superficial and was disturbed by the 4 men/40 women ratio of the residents. A ratio that needed explanation.   Also the residents seem to be chosen so that they could represent different types of old women from the  woman crying for her mother in her dementia to the poet in bed. 

Altogether I feel the film is superficial simply expressing unsurprising the discovery that old women in homes feel lonely. 

The Mole Agent: the story of the most unusual documentary of the year

Alberdi explained that the gender breakdown in this particular nursing home is not common in Chile. Men are usually dumped in homes, while women are kept with the children or grandchildren they raised. However, this particular home goes back decades, with a clientele largely made up of women who never married, had children or found their independence with careers.

Radheyan Simonpillai

Tue 1 Sep 2020 16.36 BST

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing, alzeihmer, care homes, carers, dementia, documentary, FILM RECEPTION, oscar, women's friendships and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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