GenreDocumentary, History, News ScreenplayChad Gracia Duration CountryUnited States
Release date24 January 2015 (2015-01-24) (Sundance) Similar moviesHow to Change the World (2015), Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013), Best Of Enemies (2015), Bollywood Dream (2010), Hell and Back Again (2011)
The russian woodpecker official trailer 1 2015 chad gracia fedor alexandrovich movie hd
The Russian Woodpecker is a 2015 documentary film written, produced and directed by Chad Gracia following Fedor Alexandrovich's investigation into the Chernobyl disaster. It is Gracia's directorial debut feature. The film premiered in the "World Cinema Documentary" competition at 2015 Sundance Film Festival on 24 January 2015 and won the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the festival.
The russian woodpecker of chernobyl how to see over the horizon
The films focuses on Fedor Alexandrovich's research into the cause of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine and its potential connection to a Soviet Cold War-era structure, the Duga over-the-horizon radio antenna. His investigation is interrupted and impacted by the 2014 Euromaidan uprising, which eventually led to the ousting of the president Viktor Yanukovych.
During the production of the film, cinematographer Artem Ryzhykov was injured by sniper fire at Euromaidan and his equipment was destroyed. Two people standing next to him that day were killed at that moment.
A clip from the film was released online on 20 January 2015.
The Russian Woodpecker was well received by most critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 96% based on 23 reviews with a weighted average score of 8.1/10. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 74% based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Charlie Phillips of The Guardian gave the film four out of five stars, stating "Gracia succeeds brilliantly in delivering a chilling warning about where Putin and his spooks might go next, by giving Fedor full licence to act the biblical prophet." Dennis Harvey of Variety also gave the film a positive review saying that it is "surprisingly inventive, even buoyant in its presentation of several issues that could scarcely be more sobering." Drew Taylor of IndieWire graded the film "A" and in his review said that "[this] is the story of two countries that may have divided but who are still linked through their politics, exports and the ghosts that still wander the contaminated grounds of both Chernobyl... and the Russian Woodpecker." Daniel Walber of Nonfics also gave the film a positive review, summarizing it as "first and foremost a thrilling conspiracy theory documentary about Fedor Alexandrovich and his quest for the truth behind the Chernobyl nuclear disaster." Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter, praising the film, said that "given the film's narrative encompasses the death of thousands of people at various points in Ukrainian history, and most recently hundreds in the recent conflict [...] Gracia finds the humor in many of the situations, and has properly Slavic feel for the absurd. Bouncy animation and fish-eye lens are frequently deployed to create a stylized sense of playfulness which only enhances the film's many compelling qualities."
By contrast, in his "C+" review for The A.V. Club, Mike D'Angelo was unimpressed by the central thesis of the film, describing Alexandrovich's conspiracy theory as "in terms of plausibility [being] roughly on a par with "George W. Bush allowed 3,000 Americans to be murdered by Al Qaeda ... so he could justify invading Iraq."" D'Angelo is also skeptical about the inclusion of the Euromaidan protests in the film, wryly noting that "it's almost as if Alexandrovich and director Chad Gracia use this real-world conflict to distract viewers from the lack of concrete evidence, in the same way that Alexandrovich claims the Chernobyl disaster was meant as a diversion. Hmmm. No, that's just silly, isn't it?" Similarly, Jeremy Mathews in his review for Paste Magazine writes: "As the filmmakers try to tie together the threads of the Chernobyl disaster, cold war paranoia and the modern conflict between Russia and Ukraine, [the documentary's] knots start to slip." Mathews also points out a fundamental contradiction in the filmmakers' narrative, stating: "When your mystery ends with "this guy went rogue to subvert the will of the government," it doesn't logically follow to say "the government that he subverted is the root cause.""