Ukrainian artist Fedor Alexandrovich believes that the Chernobyl disaster was a plot by the USSR to cover up a Soviet superweapon capable of mind control. As fanciful as his conspiracy theories might seem, the Russian government’s very real and frightening response to his investigations suggests he might just be on to something. Equal parts paranoid thriller and documentary reporting, The Russian Woodpecker provides a novel perspective on tensions between Russia and Ukraine, exploring the desire for a more compelling reason behind the environmental ruin of Chernobyl. (In Russian with English subtitles.)
Directed by Chad Gracia. Produced by Mike Lerner and Ram Devineni. Presented with the Trust for Mutual Understanding.