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Eliza Capai is the director of "Elize Matsunaga: Once upon a crime"


For the first time after the case, the defendant breaks the silence in an interview for Netflix's new documentary series that features testimonials from Elize, family members and colleagues of her and the victim, as well as experts who followed the investigations. It also brings the details that followed the crime, from attempts to cover it up confession, the arrest, the trial and also temporary leaves granted by the Brazilian law, which were accompanied by the film crew.

Feature Films

Shorts and Series






Eliza Capai is an independent documentary filmmaker

who focuses on social issues.

In a very productive and ascending moment of her career, Eliza signs the direction of the first Netflix’s Brazilian true crime series – "Elize Matsunaga: Once Upon a Crime" – in which she interviews for the first time the confessing defendant of one of the most famous crimes in Brazil. The series was released on the VOD platform in 190 countries simultaneously in July 2021.


Her previous work, the awarded documentary “Your Turn” (directed and scripted by Eliza Capai), is about the student takeover of schools in response to educational budget cuts in Brazil. It premiered at Berlinale (2019) and was awarded with the International Amnesty Prize and Peace Prize. Since that, the film was released in 100+ festivals and received 20+ awards. 


Her second movie, “The Tortoise and the Tapir” (72’, 2016 - directed and scripted by Eliza Capai), investigates the gigantic hydroelectric plants built and planned in the middle of the Amazon forest during Brazil’s worst drought in decades. 


Her first feature, Here Is So Far (71’, 2013 - directed and scripted by Eliza Capai), is based on encounters with women during a seven-month trip in Africa. In its premiere at the Rio International Film Festival New Trends, the documentary was awarded Best Feature Film. It received multiple awards in Brazil and abroad. 


Capai graduated from University of São Paulo with a degree in journalism and was a fellow at MIT Open Documentary Lab.

Eliza Capai