NAVALNY: an important film at the right time – Read what the critics are saying

The Documentary directed by Daniel Roher will soon bow at DOK.fest München after screening at Sundance and CPH:DOX

Courtesy of DCM

This film “offers hope for a brighter, freer future in Russia amid the ongoing shock of state cruelty”. That is how The Guardian’s Adrian Horton saluted Navalny, the documentary directed by Canadian filmmaker Daniel Roher. In her four-star review, Horton calls it “a riveting new film, made in secret. It details the harrowing ordeal of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader poisoned with novichok”.

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Alexei Navalny is currently imprisoned in the Pokrov prison camp. On 22 March 2022 – after the start of Putin’s war of aggression – Navalny’s two-and-a-half-year prison sentence was extended to nine years for alleged fraud. His lawyers have appealed and are demanding acquittal.

Now, there is a film about him

The Documentary NAVALNY celebrated its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film recently bowed at CPH:DOX for its European premiere. It will soon screen in Germany as the opening event of DOK.fest München. On 5 May, the distributor DCM will release it in cinemas throughout Germany.

Watch the Trailer for Navalny

NAVALNY – What the international critics are saying

There has never been a documentary (like this one) writes Nick Allen on The film strikes a singular balance between fearlessness and hopelessness. Forcing us to reckon with why he put himself in that position, to not only grieve when he falls”. Allen notes how “in the movie’s harrowing climax, it’s about witnessing Navalny as he decides to return to Russia, challenging Putin to arrest him at the airport”.

A Must-See Documentary

“Extraordinary footage of the events surrounding the poisoning and the investigation are cut together with a long interview with Navalny. And footage taken with his wife and children in exile in Germany” – writes Finn Halligan on Screen International. “Casually honest and physically prepossessing, Navalny comes across as forceful, courageous – determined to jump heedlessly into his own destiny”.

On Variety, Owen Gleiberman calls it: “A Must-See Documentary about the Anti-Putin Freedom Fighter Who Has Become the Conscience of Russia”.

Watch a brief interview with Daniel Roher – Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Daniel Fienberg from The Hollywood Reporter notices how “30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union this is what democracy looks like in Russia. It begins with Roher asking Navalny, “If you are killed, if this does happen, what message do you leave behind to the Russian people?”. (…) his film remains a pervasively ominous snapshot of a scary ongoing global moment”.

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David Ehrlich sums it up on Indiewire: “No matter how many dissidents he jails. No matter how many countries he invades (…) Putin will always be trying to hide from the truth of his actions. “Navalny” may not resonate with the same power as something like “The Great Dictator”. In its timely 21st century context, this documentary evinces a similar understanding of what power fears the most.

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