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Wanna Marchi: the triumph of a scammer in the most anticipated Netflix documentary

Wanna Marchi
Wanna Marchi

Wanna Marchi conquers the hard core of Italian housewives, who see in her the only hope to get back into shape and return to be desired by husbands tired of seeing “the bodies of their wife shapeless, full of hair.”

Want to make you very angry. A necessary premise to discuss the Netflix documentary, streaming from 21 September in 4 episodes, dedicated to Wanna Marchi.

Highly anticipated, this made-in-Italy project of the platform written by Alessandro Garramone and Davide Bandiera and directed by Nicola Prosatore reconfirms the interest of the platform for Italian stories after the success of Santa, which analyzed other horizons and drifts albeit with a very similar narrative style.

Want to is the story of a scammer born from nothing, who, always on nothing, built her career as an aggressive, ruthless, cruelly sincere TV seller at the turn of the eighties and nineties.

Anyone who owned a television in those years knows her face.

Still, above all, her voice, her emblematic expressive figure, condensed in that croaking Okay ?! who yelled at the viewers to confirm the tacit pact of trust between her and those who looked at her and bought her, her miraculous concoctions of hers? Want to is the story of an ascent, a fall and an undeserved triumph: it is Marchi herself who tells, looking straight at the camera, how her business was born and how it broke through in years in which body shaming had no contours, it was a concept that didn’t even exist.

The authors of the documentary found 22 testimonies that, hand in hand, tell the shadows of Marchi and the consequences of her scams, drawing a beautiful social and economic portrait of those years with archive videos and exclusive interviews.

Wanna Marchi: Story of repentance that will never come

The career of Wanna Marchi is inevitably intertwined with that of her daughter Stefania Nobile (also present as a voice in the documentary), in short: she begins as a beautician and make-up artist in the surroundings of Bologna, exploits the games of fate and a stage presence cumbersome to make its way into local TVs, on which, in those years, sellers of improbable objects proliferated.

Among slimming creams and muds, Wanna Marchi conquers the hard core of Italian housewives, who see in her the only hope to get back into shape and return to be desired by husbands tired of seeing “the bodies of their wife shapeless, full of hair”, to quote his words (today, not then).

Between trash songs, raids on public TV and scandals, we arrive at the period of collaboration with the self-style maestro Do Nascimento, also the protagonist of the documentary on Netflix, with which he starts to see his fortune in a bag of salt, an antidote to the evil eye.

The scam, costing millions to the victims who, to ward off the influence of the evil one, invested their life savings in the formulas of the award-winning company Marchi – Nobile – Do Nascimiento, puts an end to a twenty-year criminal association.

At the end of the sentence, do you want a Wanna Marchi and her daughter are today two women free to point out old concepts – outdated by everyone, except for them, who have not regretted their misdeeds – and to throw the viewer a very specific question: are they them the bad ones of history, or who has fallen into their trap has sinned too much naivety, and therefore deserved that Wanna Marchi and Nobile took advantage of them?

The answer, of course, should not even be reiterated: whoever cheats, moreover in cold blood and without remorse, must pay.

And whoever is the victim of the scam must be listened to, understood, helped and not blamed.

However, the documentary on Netflix has the merit of not dwelling on the more goliardic aspects of Wanna Marchi, which can also arouse some smiles, but in the first minutes of viewing, no more.

After that, there is only anger, frustration, and disbelief. This is why it should be seen: Wanna Marchi is a cross-section of Italian culture and life that perhaps we had removed but which we would do better to remember.

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