THE OSCAR PROJECT
Navalny is an emotional roller coaster detailing one man’s fight against an authoritarian regime. The film follows Alexei Navalny (one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s biggest opponents) through some of his most crucial moments in his battle against Putin's dictatorship.
Director Daniel Roher brings a clearly ambitious vision to the film, piecing together just a few months of Navalny's life into an anxiety-inducing thriller exposing the depths of Putin's corruption and his desire to stop freedom from sufficing in Russia. The release of this documentary is perfect, coinciding with the beginning of the Ukraine War, and this film goes above and beyond to show how unjustified the war is and the dangers of dictatorship.
It is the editing that tops the cake with a great mix to strike anxiety throughout the whole film., The audience is left wondering if Navalny will survive his assassination attempt and whether he’ll once again get imprisoned simply for returning to Russia.
While Navalny himself is a character, perfectly fitting the narrative Roher set out to create, it is his wife Yulia who rises as the driving force behind him through the whole movie. This mix of Roher, Alexei, Yulia, and the investigative journalists who put this together did an amazing job and they deserve the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature they received last weekend at the 95th Academy Awards. It’s unfortunate that Navalny himself remains imprisoned in Russia and couldn’t attend the Oscars and see his own movie win this amazing award. Hopefully the documentary brings awareness to his struggle (and those of the Russian people) and frees him from the grips of Putin's grasp.
8 out of 10