Vienna, April 13, 2023
by Edward Steen
As predicted in these pages by Julia Ioffe, the documentary film about Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny last night (12/03) won an Oscar for its director Daniel Roher, who dedicated the award to Navalny and “all political prisoners around the world”.
Navalny’s two children and his wife Yulia attended the ceremony in Los Angeles, and joined the director on stage to accept the award.
“My husband is in prison just for telling the truth, my husband is in prison just for defending democracy,” Yulia Navalnaya said. “Alexei, I am dreaming about the day you will be free, and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love.”
Navalny, 46, currently languishes in a maximum-security prison about 120 km east of Moscow. He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for allegedly violating the conditions of his parole. In March 2022, he was then given another nine-year sentence on fraud charges.
The documentary follows Navalny’s political rise to become Putin’s most prominent opposition, and documents an investigation by the investigative outlet Bellingcat into his poisoning, as well as his subsequent (and for the time being indefinite) jail sentence.