Navalnyj | Film threat

ANNOUNCEMENT OF SFFILM FESTIVAL 2022! Navalny is something of a surprise as it has landed on stage with a little notice and a timely story to tell. As the title indicates, the documentary is about Alexey Navalny, a Russian lawyer who decided to take on the authoritarian government of his home country at all costs. When Navalny challenged Vladimir Putin in the election, he made himself the number one public enemy by inciting the people of his country to question Putin’s rule.

Director Daniel Roher follows Navalny on his fateful journey to Siberia, subsequent poisoning along the way and determination to return to Moscow. Who poisoned Navalny? Why was the Russian government afraid of what he could do? The filmmaker deftly weaves a tale of a Russian patriot who will not stop at anything to offer his people an alternative to its leadership.

Navalny opens with Alexey Navalny being interviewed by Roher, who is just outside the camera. The subject is asked what he wants his followers to know if he is killed. He shrugs the question as dull and suggests they shoot a sequel to his murder. An attempt was made in August 2020 after his trip to Siberia. But only a third of the way back to Moscow made an emergency landing of his plane. Paramedics rushed Navalny to the hospital, where his wife and political staff were denied entry.

Navalny challenged Vladimir Putin in the election and made himself enemy of the people number one… ”

After many battles, Germany offered to move Navalny to a neutral place to recover. This is where the pieces are assembled with the help of the Austrian investigator Christo Grozev and Navalny’s staff to get a clearer picture of what could have happened. Was Navalny poisoned? If so, who did it? If they did, why on earth would Navalny return to Russia? As an image of corruption and conspiracy comes into focus, Navalny plans his next move, and Roher is there to form all the tweets, Insta posts, record footage, and then edit it all into a compelling story.

None of these facts are big spoilers. Navalny has fought Putin, been poisoned, recovered and insisted on returning home. The film even begins by letting the viewer know that Navalny is imprisoned in Russia at this very moment. So why is Navalny so busy challenging Vladimir Putin? What is it that drives him and his family to relentlessly confront a seemingly impenetrable power?

With Navalny, Roher leans into the story he was so serendipitally lucky to be near, one involving international factions that found a common enemy. Hair-raising moments of excitement and excitement arise as we follow Navalny, who survives certain death, reveals his enemies and defiantly returns to the lion’s den in hopes of winning another battle. But what does it all take?

Navalny is a hell of a documentary that takes viewers on a man-making journey for an iconic character. The film offers unprecedented access to one of the world’s most thought-provoking characters fighting ethical battles that we simply ponder. Roher is deeply fortunate to have been involved when Navalny’s shocking story was told, and so are we.

Navalny shown at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and the 2022 SFFILM Festival.

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