NEW YORK (AP) — Navalny, a look at a Russian opposition leader after an attempt on his life, has won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Director Daniel Roher’s portrayal of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny features shadowy cops, truth-seeking journalists, conspiracy theories and Soviet-era poisons. It is a film with clear political emotion after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Roher accepted his statuette saying he dedicated it to Navalny and to all political prisoners around the world. “Alexei, the world has not forgotten your essential message to all of us: we should not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it arises.” Navalny’s wife, Yulia, said: “Alexei, I dream of the day you will be free and our land will be free. Stay strong, my love.”
Navalny is a media savvy, anti-corruption campaigner in his mid-40s who has been a headache for Russian President Vladimir Putin for years. He has issued numerous reports on corruption in Russia and the Putin administration, and has become a popular figure among like-minded Russians.
Roher was able to talk to Navalny during his short stay in Berlin in 2020 and early 2021 as he was recovering from poisoning and searching for the truth behind the failed assassination attempt. The media has called Navalny the Kremlin’s fiercest critic. And he seems undeterred by the harassment and arrests he has endured.
The film was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival, winning both the Documentary Audience Award and the Festival Favorite Award
“Navalny” beat out the other nominees for the documentary “All That Breathes’; “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”; “Fire of Love”; and “A house made of splinters.”
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