In 2020 December, Navalny released an extended version of the rambling chat that lasted a purported 49 minutes. Since space is limited, Roher has shortened this call to its essential six minutes, as is his right as a journalist (although he has not drawn attention to this, and a close comparison of the editing suggests the movie has tightened not just for time but for drama).
The admissions are cited by Navalny as evidence of what he terms “Moscow4,” a phenomena he coined after the password that allowed its creation. Stupidity undermining the system.
Besides the incredible opportunity to listen in on that phone call, Roher has put together a riveting and stressful portrait of Navalny and his close group. Both Grozev, who can find information in murky parts of the web with astonishing ease, and Pevchikh, who has an executive-producer credit, would be great subjects for their own documentaries. (Grozev was the person who introduced Roher to Navalny; they had previously worked together on another project.)
Similarly, Roher tries to show that Navalny is just like everyone else. He records the politician, Alexei Navalny, and his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, in Germany, where Navalny recovered from his poisoning. They can be seen feeding farm animals and debating whether or not it is appropriate to pick an apple from a tree. Somehow, Navalny has mastered TikTok better than his college-aged daughter.
Roher admitted during a recent New York showing of his film that Navalny is a natural in front of the camera. Sometimes the documentary may recognise that Navalny is image conscious, like as when Pevchikh asks if Roher’s questions are bothering him. It’s evident that Roher has a great deal of respect for Navalny, and it’s probable that the only challenging question we get is the standard one of whether or not Navalny was wrong to attend a 2011 rally of far-right nationalists.
However, as Navalny requested, the film mostly functions as a tense thriller, culminating in a recreation of Navalny’s post-recovery return to Russia in January 2021, when his jet was diverted from the airport where his followers had gathered. A little while after touching down, he was taken into custody.
R-rated: Navalny’s reaction upon learning he’d been poisoned. Dual language track (Russian/English) with subtitles. The duration of the film is 1 hr 38 min. Catch it on HBO Max and CNN apps. Thanks for reading our article Navalny Review Speaking Truth To Power in a Corrupt System