Watch Operation Odessa
- 1 hr 35 min
Operation Odessa is a 2018 crime documentary film directed by Tiller Russell. It revolves around the true story of the daring and complex heist that brought together a trio of international criminals in the early 1990s. The film features interviews and archival footage to narrate the real-life crime story. The film is set in the sleepy city of Miami Beach in the 1990s, which would eventually become a hub for drug trafficking and organized crime. The three main characters of the story are Ludwig Fainberg, Juan Almeida, and Nelson Yester. The story picks up right after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. During this time, a wave of immigrants from the Soviet bloc made their way to Miami, bringing with them access to untold riches from the black market economy. Amongst this new influx of immigrants was Fainberg, a savvy businessman who had connections to the underworld, and who dreamed of making a fortune in America. While in Miami, Fainberg met Almeida, a small-time Cuban car salesman who aspired to become a drug kingpin. Sensing an opportunity to make money, Fainberg teamed up with Almeida to create a network of criminal connections that would eventually lead to the unthinkable; a plan to steal a Soviet submarine and sell it to the highest bidder. To execute their plan, the duo partnered with a Soviet naval officer named Yester, who had access to the most advanced and high-tech submarines at the time. The plan to steal the submarine was audacious, involving bribes, thefts, and an intricately planned heist that would require them to smuggle the sub out of the country. The trio of international criminals went to great lengths and engaged in daring maneuvers to make their plan a reality. The film takes us through a gripping journey of how the trio planned and executed the heist, their struggles with law enforcement, and how they eventually got out of the web of their illegal activities. It is exciting to watch the story unfold as we hear the perspectives of the men behind the heist, and how they had to navigate the murky waters of organized crime and the criminal justice system. Operation Odessa is not just a crime documentary, but also an exploration into the complex lives of the individuals who risked everything to achieve their dreams. It is a fascinating look into the minds of the people who carry out such high-level crimes, and the challenges they face in order to succeed. The film manages to capture the suspense of the heist, while also highlighting the underlying human experiences that motivates the trio to take on such a challenge. One of the strengths of the film is its cast of characters, who are charismatic and engaging throughout the movie. Fainberg's wisdom, cunning, and sly wit make him a likable character, but one never forgets his criminal activities. Almeida is portrayed as a wild-eyed risk taker, who becomes more audacious and more aggressive as the heist unfolds. Yester is more the reserved, quiet type, who doesn't talk much but observes everything. The film also pays attention to the time and place in which the heist was executed, offering a poignant commentary on the social and political landscape of the early 90s. It highlights the changing global economy and how that opened doors for criminal activities in the United States. The film also shows how impoverished Cubans fleeing from the Fidel Castro regime intersected with wealthy Eastern Europeans looking to cash-in after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In conclusion, Operation Odessa is an outstanding documentary that will leave any viewer on the edge of their seat. It is a thrilling story of international crime and the risks that people are willing to take to achieve their goals. The film's focus on the individuals and their motivations gives it a unique and compelling touch. It is a must-watch for any true crime fans and anyone who loves documentaries.