Confrontations CinemaThe Russian Woodpecker
Fedor Alexandrovich, Artem Ryzhykovdocumentary * Ukraine / USA / United Kingdom * 2015
Fedor Alexandrovich, an eccentric Ukrainian artist and performer, was four years old when a nuclear disaster struck his hometown of Chernobyl. 29 years later Fedor returns to the events of the April of 1986 to discover some unknown facts. The key is Duga, the “Russian Woodpecker”, a large complex of radio masts near the Exclusion Zone – their purpose was never clear. Fedor investigates a shocking theory that the “woodpecker” had a direct impact on the plant’s failure. Old photos, interviews with locals and former apparatchiks are mixed with his avant-garde, absurd artistic vision of the Cold War and the explosion at the reactor No. 4. When further exploration of the secrets becomes dangerous, Fedor is forced to decide whether to risk his life by revealing them to the world.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.