The first time we meet young Ukranian artist Fedor Alexandrovich, he’s producing a play called Dreams of a Ridiculous Man. It’s an apt description of Fedor himself.
With his wild eyes and unkempt facial hair, he operates on a different wavelength to the bemused former Soviet officials he interviews, and for a moment the movie feels like it’s going to be a darkly comic exploration of a crackpot conspiracy.
But then the film tips its hand, and a dark, unsettling undercurrent – like the old radio frequency that gives the film its name – bubbles to the surface.
Stark and surreal, farcical and fearful, The Russian Woodpecker is an electrifying film about Cold War legacies that becomes frighteningly topical when viewed through the lens of European current affairs.
DIRECTOR: Chad Gracia
SYNOPSIS: The Russian Woodpecker follows the warm and spirited artist Fedor Alexandrovich’s quest to uncover the truth behind the nuclear disaster in his hometown of Chernobyl.