Navalny Documentary in Cinemas: Film Review

WRecent news that among the victims of the Russian massacre in Bucha is Ilya Navalny, a distant relative of a prominent political prisoner of Putin, showed that the Kremlin’s fight against Russia’s most important opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, and the Ukraine war belong to each other. Neighbors found the man, who was shot in the head, his passport visibly open next to the body. Navalnyj said through his lawyer on Instagram that Putin’s executioner killed an innocent person just for his name. In the documentary “Navalny” directed by Daniel Rohr, which will be shown in cinemas on Thursday, the charismatic corruption fighter also mentioned that his family hails from a village near Chernobyl, not far from Bucha.

The Canadian director’s film, co-produced by CNN and HBO, is a political thriller. It was shot primarily during the past five months Navalnyj was freely in Germany before returning to his homeland in January 2021. But it’s also a thrilling journalistic thriller. A second lead role is played by Bulgarian data researcher Christo Grosev, who leads investigations in Russia by investigative network Bellingcat, and explains how he obtained the phone data of Navalnyj’s Secret Service shadows on the dark web, some of which is earned by low-paid IT employees. . Additional money by selling data. Grosev, who is popular with Russian liberals and ironically describes himself as a computer geek, admits that reporters can no longer trust people and have to rely on data.

The documentary is an example of the vast resources and treacherous intelligence the Kremlin uses to persecute its critics. The fact that Navalnyj survived his “death” of neurotoxin Novichok in August 2020 through lucky circumstances – emergency landing and first aid in Omsk, Siberia, treatment in Berlin, the perseverance and intelligence of his wife Julia – has something of a myth of Russian magic. Recordings of his barely-human screams in the plane’s lavatory illustrate the severity of the situation.

The stupidity of the intelligence agent

The life of this political fighter is also evident in old photos of his supporters’ demonstrations against corruption and abuses in the country, arrests, assault with green disinfectant, and police raids of his office. Rohr also remembers Navalning’s courtship of the Russian right, which he later distanced himself from but justified at the time by saying he wanted to be able to speak to all the major groups in his country. Navalnyj’s shot as a lone long-distance runner in the snow, created during his medical rehab in the Black Forest, has a fitting effect.

Rohr leaves for his hero to tell about himself how to deal with his danger. Navalny declines his first question about the message he wants to leave to his compatriots in the event of his death, stating that in this case the director must make up a boring memory story. Even more impressively, Navalny, using mobile video and television images equally, depicts the power of Russia’s state machine of destruction. In the Omsk hospital, where the first unconscious Navalnig was admitted, you can see how the chief physician, Alexander Murakovsky, who tried to prevent Navalnig’s evacuation, explains with empty eyes that Navalnyg does not have any poison in his blood, but it seems that it is a metabolic process disorder. As a reward, Murachovsky became the Minister of Health of the Omsk region. You can see how it is not the doctors in the clinic, but the people in uniform who protect Julia Navalnaya from her husband. One experiences how the hosts of the second Russian state television talk show mock the opposition, declaring themselves puppets of the CIA and attributing alcohol, drugs and other abuses to them.

The feat of Navalnyj, who called members of his assassination team in early December and managed to get Konstantin Kudryavtsev clean, using a fake superior name, to explain the entire sequence of events down to the last detail, has made history and is a highlight of the 98-minute drama. Sitting next to the phone call, Maria Bevchich, companion of Grosev and Navalnyj, could not believe so much the idiocy of the secret intelligence agent. For him, this is a death sentence. In fact, Kudryavtsev is considered to have disappeared.

The final sequence of Navalnyj’s return, arrest, mass protests, ban and criminalization of his anti-corruption institution showed great popular support, to which President Putin responded in the spring of 2021 with the deployment of troops on the Ukrainian border. As his wife Julia leaves Moscow airport alone, a staff member thanks her and her husband for what they have done. He didn’t dare do that today.

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