What to make of the Oscar for "Navalny"?

The film Navalny has won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 95th Academy Awards. For the film, director Daniel Roher interviewed the Putin opponent in 2020 as he was recovering from the effects of Novichok poisoning. Navalny has been in prison since 2021, reportedly without access to proper healthcare. Not all commentators agree with the signal this award sends.

Webcafé (BG) /

Showcasing Russian resistance

Webcafé welcomes the jury’s decision:

“In a society that is systematically taught that everything is black or white and the world is divided into acolytes and traitors (and where the traitors must die), the film Navalny shows the vision of a different path for Russia. Certainly, we know that this vision never stood a particularly good chance of prevailing. Therefore it is all the more important that now that Navalny has been in a penal camp for more than two years and the trumped-up charges against him continue to pile up, the film reminds us that, despite the iron hand of the state, there is still resistance and discontent with Putin in Russia.”

Stojan Popow
Wprost (PL) /

There is no other Russia

Hollywood is indulging in a pipe dream by awarding the Navalny film the Oscar for best documentary feature, Wprost is convinced:

“The dream factory has awarded an Oscar to a film that cements Navalny’s international status as the symbol of a Russia that is better than Putin’s. As we can see, there may be no such thing. This can be observed in the behaviour of Russian émigrés living in Europe, for example in their attitude towards the recent democratic civil uprising in Georgia, where a pro-Moscow regime tried to introduce Putin-style laws.”

Jakub Mielnik
Echo (RU) /

So much for Russians being canceled

The Oscar for Navalny refutes the propaganda according to which the West is per se Russophobic and an anti-Russian cancel culture is also hurting Putin’s opponents, journalist Lisa Laserson writes in a Telegram post republished by Echo:

“An Oscar has now been awarded to a film about a Russian opposition figure. The Nobel Peace Prize went to Russians two years in a row — to Memorial and Muratov. What cancel culture are we talking about here? Russians get all the attention, the whole world is holding its breath, waiting to see what will happen next there . ... So the next time you catch yourself thinking that some of us are being driven into Putin’s arms by a cancel culture, think again. ... By the way, Navalny is in prison here and Memorial has been closed. Who is canceling whom here?”

Lisa Laserson