Flash Movie Review: Navalny

IT DOES NOT MATTER TO ME what a person is passionate about, it is the fact they are truly passionate about it that makes me admire them. I knew someone who collected porcelain dolls. In their house, they had display cases of them in the living room and den, along with a smattering of them perched on various shelves throughout the house. It was a little too eerie for me, but listening to her describe the craftsmanship and history of the dolls was interesting enough for me to appreciate her passion. I had never seen such a variety of dolls; some dressed in elaborate Victorian style garb, others in clothing native to their heritage. I wondered at some point how it was walking into the house at nighttime and seeing a sea of reflective eyes peering out from the darkness. Her enthusiasm reminded me of the time I was into votive candle holders. It was after I moved into a single-family home and received a housewarming gift of one that spurred me on to start collecting various holders that would play with the reflective light coming from the flame. My point about all of this is to commend a person’s energy, drive and commitment to submerge themselves into something meaningful to them.      THIS BRINGS TO MIND AN ACQUAINTANCE of mine. We became friendly when our paths kept crossing at various events around the city, besides having mutual friends. He worked for an organization that promoted equal rights, starting out as an office manager. From there, he became a spokesman for them and that is where he found his true passion. He threw himself into election campaigns, trying to get candidates in office whose values aligned with his organization. I remember at one debate he was involved in where the opposition was using a passage of the bible to make a point. You should have seen him when he went on the attack over that comment. He informed the opposing person that he originally was in the priesthood, and he knew for a fact what the person recited was not exactly how it was written in the bible. The crowd went wild with cheers as my friend tore through the other guy’s platform he was running on, pointing out examples of narrow-mindedness and prejudices. I was in awe of his debating skills and knowledge. Just as I admired the spokesman, I quickly grew to appreciate the man’s passion in this Oscar winning documentary.      DESPITE KNOWING HOW DANGEROUS IT WAS to take on the country’s leader, Alexi Navalny refused to stay silent about his beliefs. Doing so would make him an easy target in the government’s eyes. Directed by Daniel Roher (Once Were Brothers, Ghosts of our Forest), this Academy Award winner for Best Documentary was part thriller, part comedy and part tragedy. There were a few scenes that had to be seen to be believed, as they say. I could see why Alexi has the followers he has because of his charismatic wit and passion. This documentary follows Alexi and his family in a straightforward manner, almost as a bystander, which I felt allowed the family space to maintain some sense of normalcy in their unreal world. Going into this film, all I knew about Alexi was the fact he was a Russian opposition leader and that was because of the event he was involved in that made worldwide news. Knowing that made certain scenes in this movie stand out in a spectacular way. Also, I believe there is an aspect of this film that makes it relevant and relatable for various world citizens. Though I did not see the other Oscar nominated documentaries, I can understand why this one received the award.

3 ½ stars 


About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on April 5, 2023, in Documentary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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