Navalny by Daniel Roher [9/10]

Unfolding news, even when it is wild, can also bore. I thought I “knew” everything about Alexei Navalny, the charismatic mass populace challenger to Putin in Russia … his successes, the bizarre poisoning attempt, the “into the jaws of death” heroic return to the motherland. I thought I knew the ups and downs of his tragic story, and I figured the details would be tedious. But this follow-the-person documentary by filmmaker Daniel Roher, “Navalny,” quickly swept aside my preconceptions and revealed a story of heroism more dramatic than any superhero flick’s battles. Essentially Roher follows, with a deeply embedded camera, Navalny’s story from the Novichok poisoning in Siberia in August 2020, to his dramatic flight to Germany. There, from exile, Navalny and some bright activists tracked down his would-be killers and shamed Putin publicly. Close-up interviews with the leadership candidate reveal a deeply sympathetic and courageous individual, and the final scenes, building up over the course of the movie, of him returning to Moscow in January 2021, where, of course, Putin scooped him up and rigged trials that will keep him locked up forever … those scenes are magnificent. A portrait of genuine heroism, Navalny should be required viewing for all students of modern geopolitics and, indeed, for all of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *