June 23, 2024

Illusions for Sale: The Rise and Fall of Generation Zoe 2024 Movie Review

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Illusions for Sale: The Rise and Fall of Generation Zoe 2024 Movie Review

A financial pastor and snake charmer, hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting people distributed in different parts of the world and a name with only three letters: Zoe . The documentary The Seller of Illusions: The Case of Generation Zoe , whicharrives this Thursday the 23rd on Netflix,It details in detail and chronologically the creation, rise and fall of an ambitious financial platform that exploded in the faces of both its creators and its financiers, ordinary people who dreamed of diamonds and woke up squeezing colorful mirrors tightly.

On April 4, 2022, Leonardo Cositorto , creator and mastermind of Generación Zoe, was arrested in the Dominican Republic by Interpol. The CEO of the organization had been a fugitive from Justice since mid-February. Today he awaits trial in the Bouwer prison, in Córdoba. In this way, a chapter that had begun only five years earlier was closed, when a new business scheme promised exorbitant dividends (for the time) in dollars, based on the contribution of a certain sum of money.

“When the almsgiving is great, even the saint distrusts,” the saying goes. But those who gave all their savings to Generation Zoe went overboard. Some even, like the case of Mirian, barely accepted reality when they saw his mentor being taken out of hiding by the police. The victim says in the documentary: “We woke up and there we found out that Leonardo Cositorto had been detained in the Dominican Republic, and there we opened our eyes wide and said: ‘Wow, what happened?’ And then we realized that he was really on the run. They extradited him to Argentina, we see how they bring him in, handcuffed, he was a different man. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing and that’s when the veil fell a little from us .”

The incredible thing is that at the same time that it was preparing to flee our country, Cositorto had launched a new plan to collect unwary people, which promised a 110% profit in four months. And although the information that Zoe did not have funds to make the payments was already circulating on social networks, those who had fallen fell again. Mirian says in Matías Gueilburt ‘s film : “It was a way to support and show a measure of trust in the company, because they did not have the liquidity to be able to make membership payments. And we all got involved, it was the last opportunity because, they said, there was not going to be another one.”

The naiveté, product of the mirage of quickly multiplying savings without the slightest effort and outside of all reasonable logic, left a group of people affected, who began to lose hope that that magical number that they saw growing in their virtual wallets, would be materialize in your hands . In The Seller of Illusions , the testimonies of those scammed follow one another and the sensation is mixed: a mixture of empathy and at the same time surprise at the naivety of the justifications for contributing a life’s savings to a cause beyond their control. Although, of course, with Monday’s diary everything is much easier.

The differential value of the documentary is the testimonies of theCositorto who, evidently, not only gave the go-ahead for its production but also agreed to an interview where, far from recognizing the cause that has him in prison today, he doubles down and promises to go for more.Maximiliano Batista , vice president of the company and right-hand man of the boss, also gives his testimony . Although much less optimistic and challenging than his boss, Batista distances himself by criticizing and self-criticizing the management of Generación Zoe, and highlights his differences with Cositorto. In any case, there is no message of mea culpa towards all those who ask for their money back. It is estimated that there were around 350 scams for an amount close to 120 million dollars. A sum too high to turn a deaf ear to.

As The Seller of Illusions progresses , the desire grows to see how far the tentacles of that all-powerful octopus called Generation Zoe reached. However, the documentary chose to implode, limiting itself to the company, its victims and “victimizers.” Left out – perhaps by artistic decision, perhaps by adapting the product to the international market – were those local blows, which involved figures from our show business . Barely, and without further context, you can guess a fragment of Controversy at the bar , one of the many programs that dealt with Cositorto’s company, when his speech was all promises.

Hand in hand with Zoe’s unfortunate fate came the network of influences, which remained outside the company holding company that justice was investigating. The one that garnered the most media attention was the play El Juego , by Carlos Paz, starring Diego Reinhold and Gabriel González (popular for her character “Rosita” on the TV show Pasión de Sabbath ). In addition to being sponsored by Zoe, the show had the advantage of giving away cryptocurrencies to a spectator who overcame a challenge on stage.

The person who, it was said, had been the link between Cositorto and the production was González, who explained his position in an interview with El Doce TV, in February 2022: “My relationship with Cositorto was that of a student and a teacher. Because of my experience as a driver, I began driving all of Zoe’s events. Everything that happened surprises me because I didn’t have it in my mind, for me it was something wonderful, the place I was looking for. When I started writing plays, because of my connection I asked the company for sponsorship, and they gave it to me. In November I handed in my car thinking that this cryptocurrency was going to be the bitcoin of Latin America. “I put in everything I had to put in so that this can quickly generate profits, not only for me, because I have been doing solidarity for many years.”

From prison, in an interview with C5N and after clarifying that he was not a fugitive but “on a trip,” Cositorto replied to the artist: “I love Gaby very much, but if he acts like a victim because he wants to cover his career to be able to continue as Rosita, that sounds good to me. Everyone runs because we live in a world of shits. Rosita made a fortune, as she made any person who was next to me. In addition, she banked all the theaters on the coast, which she supposedly was going to return the money and she didn’t.”

At the beginning of this year, the case was elevated to a criminal trial, meanwhile, throughout this time, Leonardo Cositorto continued trying to get back on his feet and move forward with another “revolutionary” idea; this time, around politics. And of the possible options, the space with which he felt most identified was that of La Libertad Avanza. In March 2023, he proposed in an interview with Radio El Mundo: “I am liberal, almost from birth. When he was 19 years old he was already in the military. I opened up when María Julia Alsogaray and Adelina Dalessio de Viola came, because I didn’t like them. I love the free market and I like a present State, but one that intervenes justly and necessary. If Milei accepts me to compete in the PASO with him, it would be a privilege for me. “He’s going to beat me overwhelmingly, but all I want is to express myself, because I’m not banned.”

The proposal was not heard, but the CEO of Generación Zoe returned to the fray as soon as Javier Milei won the elections. This is how LA NACIÓN reproduced on November 27, 2023, the message: “’The only thing I ask of you is that on April 4, 2024 you are kind enough to grant me a pardon, because preventive detention expires in the second year, something even declared by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR),” he expressed in a recorded message from the prison where he is detained. “I have no crime committed, I have no illicit enrichment,” the accused also stated in statements to radio El Mundo 1070 AM. In addition, he insisted on his request for clemency and indicated that, if granted, he will be made available ad honorem in the area that Milei determines. “And if he doesn’t want to join me, let him not join me, because I’m going to enter politics anyway.” On the other hand, his lawyer, Guillermo Dragotto, came out to explain that Cositorto’s request cannot be applied, since the President of the Nation only has the power to pardon people convicted of federal cases, not someone detained in prison. preventive”.

In the Netflix documentary, Cositorto points out: “I can apologize to the victims, but I tell them that starting in June 2024, if they allow me to work, I have a public telephone here, I have the capacity because it is not the first time. “I became a millionaire, I will return them to you in the next one, two or three years.”

Seller of illusions or idol with feet of clay? The answer will remain to be found in those who delve into the lights and shadows of a research work rich in archival images and testimonies, which reveals more than what it postulates.

Illusions for Sale: The Rise and Fall of Generation Zoe 2024 Movie Review