”Navalny” with Daniel Roher


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He survived a government-orchestrated poison attack. He pranked the Russian security agency. He endured (and continues to endure) solitary confinement in a remote gulag. Oh, and he also made some pretty cool TikTok videos. His name is Alexei Navalny, and, as Russia’s leading opposition figure, he will use whatever means possible to try to end the authoritarian regime of President Vladimir Putin. He’s also the subject of Daniel Roher’s (“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band”) timely and relentlessly gripping documentary political thriller “Navalny”.

In the midst of Putin’s unprovoked and disastrous war on Ukraine, Daniel joined Mike and Ken for an engaging conversation about Navalny’s perilous journey, from surviving an assassination attempt to his recovery in Germany and subsequent return to Russia and imprisonment. What led Daniel, in October 2020, from “a place of desperation” to the “Hail Mary pass” of his filmmaking career? How did he navigate the complexity of making a film about a man, who, as a master deployer of media tools himself, was at first skeptical of the documentary and then participated in a battle of wits about creative control over its direction? Finally, how did Daniel ensure that the film retained the sense of hope that Navalny, against all odds, continues to deploy against the dark forces conspiring against him and the Russian people? With its layered narratives, “Navalny” has as much in common with a classic Russian novel as it does with a James Bond thriller. We hope you will enjoy peeling back the layers with us and Daniel at least as much as those TikTok videos.

“Navalny” is available on HBO and HBO Max.

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