Please don’t call her Nico or ‘Andy Warhol’s muse'. And Crista Päffgen doesn’t want to talk about her brief period with The Velvet Underground some two decades later. For her, life started only after that illustrious period, even though reporters and admirers are generally less interested in her own solo career or ideas.

The biopic Nico, 1988 follows Nico, AKA the German Päffgen, in the last two years of her life, during international performances – occasionally phenomenal, sometimes embarrassing – while she tries to build a bond with her suicidal son and openly shoots up heroin as a pick-me-up.

Susanna Nicchiarelli does not condemn her, nor does she romanticise her. In that context, actress and vocalist Trine Dyrholm (Kollektivet, Festen) is wonderful as an uncompromising Christa/Nico. She makes her hard, yet also vulnerable; occasionally regrettable, but never pitiful. She isn’t sympathetic – and yet empathy is unavoidable for this woman who goes on where others would have stopped long ago.

With IFFR Live screening on Sun 28 Jan
.

Filmmaker
Susanna Nicchiarelli
Country
Italy
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
93’
Language
English, German, Czech
Producer
Marta Donzelli, Gregorio Paonessa, Alessio Lazzareschi, Gianluca Chiaretti, Joseph Rouschop, Valérie Bournonville
Production Company
Vivo Film, Rai Cinema, Tarantula
Sales
Celluloid Dreams
Writer
Susanna Nicchiarelli
Cinematography
Crystel Fournier
Editor
Stefano Cravero
Production Design
Alessandro Vannucci, Igor Gabriel
Sound Design
Adriano Di Lorenzo, Marc Bastien, Franco Piscopo
Music
Gatto Ciliegia contro il Grande Freddo
Cast
Trine Dyrholm, John Gordon Sinclair, Anamaria Marinca, Sandor Funtek, Thomas Trabacchi, Karina Fernandez, Calvin Demba