Doleira A História de Nelma Kodama 2024 Movie Review
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Doleira: A História de Nelma Kodama 2024 Movie Review

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Doleira: A História de Nelma Kodama 2024 Movie Review

This documentary film showcases the life and crimes of Nelma Kodama, a Brazilian businesswoman who went to prison for corruption, organised crime and currency evasion during Operation Car Wash after she was caught trying to board a plane with 200 thousand euros in her underwear in Guarulhos airport. The series depicts her life of crime from her own mouth and of those who were involved both for and against the law while breaking down the background of the illegal activities and why they came to be.

Kodama’s portrayal in the movie is surprisingly not of a convicted criminal but of a badass lady with an ankle monitor who lives in a lavish home that is full of luxuries. When the docufilm starts, you are left surprised with what you are watching, since the subject matter, despite being the “queen of dirty money”, doesn’t seem like she is facing the consequences of her illegal actions and is living a life of riches with just a small inconvenience. The film portrays her past in an oddly aspirational way, wherein you would be confused about whether or not viewers are supposed to get inspired by her or not.

However, at least Kodama, despite her corrupt ways, is honest about who she is and her activities, unlike the many others whom we see deflect and deny until they are blue in the face, despite the overwhelming evidence against them. She is forthcoming about her business, painting a vivid picture of a very high-profile operation with a smile on her face, making you question where she gets her confidence from! Nelma Kodama is charming and that is evident by her captivating presence in front of the screen as well as the ease with which she maintained so much money and people while keeping it all a secret from law enforcement.

Nelma Kodama: The Queen of Dirty Money is definitely entertaining, gives us a rundown of the facts and showcases them with much delight. In spite of being a rather grim chapter in Brazilian history, there’s an undertone of intrigue and anticipation in the film that is compounded by the “fun” background score that keeps things rather peppy. Maybe it’s Kodama’s self-awareness (or delusion?) that keeps things amusing because you don’t see people being this proud of their illegal activities – it’s really interesting to watch.

Documentaries on financial scams are always interesting to watch because they showcase so many moving parts and this one isn’t anything different. It’s surprisingly effective in holding onto our attention because of how many things the operation had to keep up with and these small moving parts are what separate these documentaries from others. There’s nothing simple about them if you think about it, but, when you hear it in story format, things seem smooth and easy. The film is to be given some of that credit as well because it does a great job with the interviews, stock footage and recreations, making everything flow effortlessly.

Personally, Nelma Kodama’s relationships with those around her will probably be the most interesting part of the story and of course, whether or not she is being completely transparent and true. Her stories are wild but effective in keeping you occupied but the illusion gets shattered when others associated with her give their two cents. The conversations are fascinating and make for a great watch, especially for those who like these sorts of docufilms.

I really need to know how Kodama is keeping up with her lifestyle after her crime-laden days, which the documentary misses out on covering. It would’ve been an interesting topic to mull over, considering her criminal days are behind her it seems but alas, that question remains unanswered. However, other than my morbid curiosity, the film is really entertaining and effective, with Nelma Kodama’s interviews being the most baffling and surprisingly interesting parts of all.

Doleira: A História de Nelma Kodama 2024 Movie Review

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