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Mon 13 March 2023:

The movie Navalny, a look at the Russian dissident who was poisoned with a nerve agent and nearly died, captured the Oscar for best documentary feature.

Alexey Navalny’s portrayal by director Daniel Roher features shady agents, investigative journalists, conspiracy theories, and poisons from the Soviet era. This movie clearly has political undertones in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Roher accepted his statuette on Sunday by saying he dedicated it to Navalny and to all political prisoners around the world.

“Alexey, the world has not forgotten your vital message to us all: we must not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head,” said Roher.

Joining the director on stage, Navalny’s wife Yulia Navalnaya added: “Alexey, I am dreaming of the day you will be free and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love.”

Navalny has caused Russian President Vladimir Putin trouble for a long time. He has published countless investigations exposing corruption in Russia and the Putin administration, becoming well-liked and a source of inspiration for Russians with similar views.

During Navalny’s brief stay in Berlin in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, when he was recuperating from being poisoned and looking for the truth about the botched murder attempt, Roher was able to sit down with Navalny. The Kremlin’s harshest critic, as described by the media, Navalny appears unfazed by the intimidation and arrests he has experienced.

The film was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the documentary audience award and the festival favourite award.

Navalny beat the other documentary nominees: All That Breathes; All the Beauty and the Bloodshed; Fire of Love; and A House Made of Splinters.

The Kremlin on Monday said the Academy Award showed “a certain element of politicisation” by Hollywood.

Navalny, 46, fell ill in Siberia in 2020 and was flown to Germany, which said it found evidence he had been poisoned with Novichok, a banned nerve agent.

Western nations allege it was a Russian state assassination attempt to silence the outspoken critic. Russia denies any role in his illness and says it has not seen proof he was poisoned.

Navalny went to Germany for five months to recover before coming back to Russia in January 2021. At the airport in Moscow, he was detained right away and later given an 11-and-a-half-year prison term.

Navalny has rejected the cases against him as fabricated. He is currently being held in a remote penal colony and is again reportedly in ill health.

At the end of the film, Navalny is asked what his message would be to the Russian people if he were killed. “You’re not allowed to give up,” he said.






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