Italy | Belgium 2017
Opening July 18, 2018
Directed by: Susanna Nicchiarelli
Writing credits: Susanna Nicchiarelli
Principal actors: Tyrine Dyrholm, John Gordon Sinclair, Anamaria Marinca, Sandor Funtek
Nico is the stage name of German singer and model Christa Päffgen. Born in 1938, the film title Nico 1988 refers to her year of death. Beginning in Manchester, England, in 1986, it concentrates on her last two years with flashbacks to the beginning of her career. She was discovered as a model in Berlin and began singing both her own songs and those of others. She had a short career with the band Velvet Underground. In August 11, 1962, her son Ari was born. Supposedly the father was Alain Delon, although he did not claim parenthood. However, Delon’s parents did recognize a certain responsibility and raised Ari in Paris. Nico was either on the road with her music or down and out due to marijuana, LSD and heroin, which eventually caused her demise. At the end of her life she was able to build a relationship with son Ari, (Sandor Funtek) who by then was over 21 and could accompany her on tours. She says, “I have been on the top and on the bottom and both places are empty.” She died July 18, 1988, while vacationing in Ibiza with her son; she was not quite 50 years old.
Tyrine Dyrholm plays Nico excellently in all of her glory and downfall. The film takes us to Manchester, New York City, Paris, Prague, etc., where she performed and/or resided. Nico’s fans will certainly enjoy the 15 songs, all from the original recordings of Nico herself. Newcomers who have no knowledge will learn a lot and be encouraged to research more. She belongs to the era of another German personality: Romy Schneider, and definitely should have a place in German history. Her day of death, July 18, is the reason this film will open on a Wednesday, one day earlier than normal in German cinemas. (Becky T.)