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Sundance 2022: Bombshell Documentary “Navalny” Exposes Autocratic Insecurity

In addition to minimizing political pluralism, pitting social groups against one another, and consolidating power by ginning up enemies of the state, authoritarian regimes survive and thrive by strangling hope — targeting those able to land real, sustained, and potentially lethal critiques to the body politic, and making examples out of them. In Russia over the last decade or so, no homegrown figure has posed more of a threat to the iron-fisted rule of President Vladimir Putin (who’s so spooked that he won’t refer to him by name) than Alexei Navalny, a lawyer whose anti-corruption activism catapulted him to the status of chief opposition leader.