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Sundance Review: ‘The Russian Woodpecker’

Sundance Review: 'The Russian Woodpecker'


This is such a curious and amazing film. Very beautifully, hauntingly photographed.

No matter what they say I have no idea now if this is a documentary or a bizarrely truth conceived but fantastical narrative film.

Shot in Ukraine it ties together such amazing events as the current Ukrainian political clashes, the fall of the Soviet Union and a mysterious plot behind
the (Ukraine based) Chernobyl explosion and the consequential destruction of a nearby mysterious Soviet tower structure which emanated strange (hostile?
military?) to North America.

The several characters in this film variously appear and disappear after strange and threatening things begin to happen to them.

And then the open ending…???

Young, eccentric Ukrainian artist Fedor Alexandrovich was just four years old when the Chernobyl disaster struck, but the event had a profound effect on
him. In seeking to learn more about what happened at the nuclear plant, Fedor becomes fascinated with the Duga—a massive, Soviet-constructed radio antenna
near the Chernobyl site that remains shrouded in mystery.

Fedor discovers the Duga was one of the USSR’s secret Cold War weapons built to penetrate Western communications systems and, possibly, minds. He arrives
at a terrifying conclusion that not only explains the radio antenna’s role in the disaster but also lays bare the cruelty inflicted on Ukraine by its
Russian neighbors. Fedor must decide if he will protect his family and himself, or tell the world what he believes. In the package of a paranoid thriller,

He and his cameraman both have terrifying experiences during the film that questions anyone’s abilities to follow this tale without getting murdered by
…???

Directed by Chad Gracia, “The Russian Woodpecker” takes us to
the front lines of the Revolution, and gives us the history and context for the
war between Russia and the Ukraine, a battle that will have ramifications for
the whole world.

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