Review: Navalny (#Sundance2022)

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NAVALNY (#SUNDANCE2022)

A documentary that rivals the intensity of any drama released in recent memory, Navalny is an engrossing true story of one mans courage to stand up for what he believes in while risking everything.

When Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is poisoned, the nerve agent used is is linked to other attacks with connections to the Russian government. After his recovery, Alexei and his team, along with a data investigative journalist, dive deep into an investigation to prove the Kremlin’s involvement. Navalny tells an absolutely insane story that one would likely consider to be fictional, but it is all too real. Director Daniel Roher captures the essence of Alexei Navalny through one-on-one conversations, first-hand footage, and heart-pounding moments that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. To see one man confront what many would call an oppressive authoritarian regime in Russia, beginning with Vladimir Putin, shines an entirely new light on the integrity of those working to better the world. 

There are moments within this documentary that seem scripted (they’re not) and payoffs that seem unimaginable (think again). Navalny and his crew work tirelessly to track down the necessary proof of the attack before going public, all presented within the documentary in tense exchanges that are remarkably powerful. For those who don’t know much (if anything) about the figure, Roher sets the stage and brings you up to speed with acute proficiency. Where is all ends up will leave you enraged. Navalny is most definitely the best documentary of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Navalny will be coming to CNN and HBO Max later this year.

Rating: 5/5

Photo from Sundance

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