Navalny: What To Know About The Best Documentary Oscar Winner Before You Watch

Alexei Navalny in Navalny
(Image credit: CNN / HBO Max)

What is the price of freedom? For the sake of not just his own freedom, but that of his country and its right to have a leader who is honest and devoid of corruption, Alexei Navalny is a man who is willing to pay the ultimate price… and he almost did. 

The true story of his crusade for truth the shocking way those in power tried to put an end to it is chronicled in director Daniel Roher’s Navalny, which won Best Documentary at the 2023 Academy Awards. If the film’s Oscar victory got you interested in learning more about its inspiring titular subject and where you can stream it, read on.

Navalny Is A Documentary About Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny

The subject of Navalny — which was produced for CNN Films — is Moscow native and lawyer Alexei Navalny, his family, and the work he has done in opposition of political corruption in Russia while under the rule of President Vladimir Putin. His activism would make him a hero to many, but an enemy to the Kremlin, which would eventually lead to an unjust prison sentence that he served since he returned to Russia after spending months in Germany, recovering from his attempted murder.

The Doc Focuses Primarily On The Investigation Into His Assassination Attempt

Navalny could be categorized as one of the best true crime documentaries on HBO Max, as it traces events surrounding the moment Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent called Novichok while on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, which immediately prompted suspicions that Putin was involved. The documentary follows him as he, along with Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev, investigates the assassination attempt and actually goes so far as to phone the suspects directly. Without giving too much away, Roher and his camera crew capture evidence to the crime that has to be seen to be believed.

Multiple Languages Are Spoken In The Documentary, Which Includes English Subtitles

In the documentary, Navalny demonstrates his ability to speak English during interviews with Roher. Yet, for most of the film — such as in conversation with his family or colleagues or in archive footage, he speaks Russian. English subtitles are included in the film and HBO Max also gives users the option to use Spanish subtitles if they would prefer.

Navalny Is Rated R For Some Language

Navalny may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Due to moments in which adult language is used, Navalny received an R-rating from the MPA. 

Navalny Is Streaming On HBO Max

As previously mentioned, Navalny is available to watch with an HBO Max subscription and was even developed as an exclusive feature for the streaming platform. I think its big win at the Oscars is just reason why it may likely be remembered as one of the best documentaries on HBO Max.

Stream Navalny on HBO Max.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.