Navalny, a US-made documentary about the jailed Russian anti-corruption fighter and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny after a 2020 poisoning attempt, was nominated for an Oscar on Tuesday. .
Directed by Daniel Rohrer, the film follows Navalny as he recovers in Berlin from Novichok nerve agent poisoning and prepares to return to Russia. When he flew to Moscow in January 2021, Navalny was immediately arrested for violating parole and jailed.
Combining original interviews with Navalny himself, his wife Yulia, daughter Daria and close aides, “Navalny” also captures the journalistic scoop when investigative reporter Hristo Grozev manages to identify the people involved in the attempt on Navalny’s life.
The most dramatic moment of the documentary comes when Navalny, posing as an official, names Konstantin Kudraustev as one of his potential assassins.
During the conversation, the hitman admits that he laced Navalny’s underwear with Novichok and describes how his team planned the assassination attempt several times in an extraordinary scene that even Navalny and his inner circle, Maria Pevchykh, seem unable to believe.
Pevchikh, who heads the investigation department of Navalny’s anti-corruption fund, congratulated Navalny and the team that created the film in tweetcalling the nomination “yet another example of Putin’s plans going horribly wrong.”
“Navalny” is up against four other films at the Oscars for best documentary feature, including “House of Shards,” which documents a shelter in eastern Ukraine run by a group of women for children escaping alcoholism and abuse handling.
The only other Russian film nominated for an Oscar on Tuesday was “Exit,” a short documentary that explores the life of scientist Maksim Chakilev, who observes the migration of walruses on Russia’s Arctic coast.
“Vylazka” is in the running for the award for the best short documentary film.
The Oscar winners will be announced at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on March 12.