NEW YORK (AP) – “Navalny,” a look at a Russian opposition leader after an attempt on his life, has won the Oscar for best documentary feature.
Shadowy operatives, truth-seeking journalists, conspiracy theories and Soviet-era poisons abound in director Daniel Rohr’s portrait of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. It is a film with obvious political poignancy in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Roehr accepted his statue, saying that he dedicated it to Navalny and all political prisoners around the world. “Alexey, the world has not forgotten your important message to all of us: We must not be afraid to oppose dictators and totalitarianism wherever it raises its head.” I am dreaming when you will be free and our country 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 released several reports about corruption in Russia and the Putin administration and became a popular and unifying figure among like-minded Russians.
Rohr was able to sit down with Navalny during his brief stay in Berlin in late 2020 and early 2021 as he recovered from the poisoning and sought the truth behind the failed assassination attempt. The media has described Navalni as a staunch critic of the Kremlin. And he appears to be unafraid of intimidation and arrests.
The film was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Documentary Audience Award and the Festival Favorite Award.
CNN Worldwide executive vice president Amy Entelis said, “‘Navalny’ is, first and foremost, about the passion, drive and inspiring heroism of Alexei Navalny, who, despite celebrating the award, is languishing in a penal colony ” Presented by CNN Films and HBO Max, the film represents CNN’s first Oscars.
“Navalny” beat out other documentary nominees “All That Breathes”; “All beauty and bloodshed”; “The Fire of Love”; and “a house made of splinters.”
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