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A look into the many lives of Christa Päffgen, otherwise known as Nico; from cutie German mädchen to the first of the supermodels, to glamorous diva of the Velvet Underground, to cult item,... See full summary »


Susanne Ofteringer


Susanne Ofteringer (screenplay)

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4 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nico ... Herself (archive footage)
Tina Aumont ... Herself
Christian Päffgen Christian Päffgen ... Himself (as Ari Boulogne)
Edith Boulogne Edith Boulogne ... Herself
Jackson Browne ... Himself
John Cale ... Himself
Danny Fields ... Himself
Carlos De Maldonado-Bostock Carlos De Maldonado-Bostock ... Himself
Jonas Mekas ... Himself
Paul Morrissey ... Himself
Sterling Morrison Sterling Morrison ... Himself
Billy Name Billy Name ... Himself
Nikos Papatakis Nikos Papatakis ... Himself (as Nico Papatakis)
Lutz Ulbrich Lutz Ulbrich ... Himself
Viva ... Herself


A look into the many lives of Christa Päffgen, otherwise known as Nico; from cutie German mädchen to the first of the supermodels, to glamorous diva of the Velvet Underground, to cult item, junkie and hag. Many faces for the same woman, whom, you realize, just couldn't bring herself to care enough to live. Written by Miguel Cane <Stepford@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Model, Pop Star, Goddess, Junkie, Icon.




Germany | USA


English | German

Release Date:

16 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,763, 10 September 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Nico: Regrets? I've got no regrets... except that I was born a woman instead of a man.
See more »


Features Sweet Skin (1963) See more »


All Tomorrow's Parties
Composed by Lou Reed
Performed by The Velvet Underground
(C) EMI Music Publishing / Polygram
See more »

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User Reviews

The Mystery of Nico
15 April 1999 | by ronpittSee all my reviews

A fascinating look at a sad & mysterious woman whose music was a deep, dark gaze into the pit of existence. If you have never heard Nico, then by all means, you must see this film. Fans will love it regardless, but the uninitiated have the most to gain. The facts of her life are chronicled, but numerous attempts by friends & acquaintances to describe who Nico was are fruitless. One realizes by the end of the film that Nico was so elusive, much like her music, that attempts to describe who she was tend to reveal more about the speaker, than they do about Nico. Someone says that Nico, who had been a model first, always hated being complimented on her beauty. The speaker suggests that it must have been some German perversity. He then explains how she proceeded to continually attempt to make herself ugly. Another person says "No one loved Nico & Nico loved no one" - a haunting statement that points to the isolation that Nico experienced. When she was beautiful, she was adored, so she destroyed heself & watched (& cried beautiful melodies) as everyone in her life capitulated. One of the finest scenes in the film finds Nico's Aunt looking over pictures & press clippings of the girl she helped raise. She speaks of Nico in adoring terms, referring to her as a princess. We then see her listening to Nico & The Velvets, gazing into the sky, lightly singing along, then shedding tears. It is a striking scene, as a tight & proper, matronly German figure crosses the boundary to an underground youth culture, that is so divorced from her world, yet bridged by her love for Nico. A great documentary of a performer who was well ahead of her time.

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