One of the most buzzed about documentaries of the year, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER is told through the perspective of Fedor Alexandrovich, who was four years old in 1986, when he was exposed to the toxic effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and forced to leave his home. Now 33, he is an artist in Ukraine, with radioactive strontium in his bones and a singular obsession with this earth-changing catastrophe. His investigation begins with a question: What really happened? Was there more to the story than the Soviet government let on? And, most importantly, what is the enormous steel structure now rotting away a few miles from the disaster site: a towering Cold War weapon nicknamed “the Russian Woodpecker” for the clicking sound it emitted, interrupting radio frequencies around the world? Director Chad Gracia stops by to talk about Fedor, conspiracy, consequences as told through his inventive and intriguing documentary.
** 2016 Spirit Award nomination for Best Documentary
Russian Woodpecker Awards:
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2015 – WINNER- GRAND JURY PRIZE- World Cinema- Documentary
BIOGRAFILM FESTIVAL 2015 – WINNER- HERA AWARD- Best Debut Film – WINNER- LIFE TALES AWARD- International Competition
DOCAVIV FILM FESTIVAL 2015 – NOMINEE- Best International Film
MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL INT’L FILM FESTIVAL 2015 – WINNER-Special Jury Prize- Documentary Competition
MONTCLAIR FILM FESTIVAL 2015 – WINNER- Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Documentary Feature
The Russian Woodpecker is very much like Fedor himself — eccentric as hell, smart as a whip, and, at the end of the day, a heartbreaker.
— THE VILLAGE VOICE
An endlessly fascinating and sharply bizarre documentary … mysterious, intense and altogether prophetic… – INDIEWIRE
The Russian Woodpecker often plays like a Kubrick take on some awful situation — like Clockwork Orange or Dr. Strangelove. The assemblage of real time search and archival footage is a wonder to behold. – RED CARPET CRASH
Vibrating with a reckless creative urgency, The Russian Woodpecker is a call for political integrity lost long ago. – IONCINEMA.COM