The Russian Woodpecker
Director Chad Gracia’s first feature-length documentary is a mutinously tense thriller, full of non-traditional activism and warning signs. It has quickly gained international recognition and festival jury notice for its artistry is unmasking the Soviet system. The main character, artist Fjodor Aleksandrovich, was four at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. While battling daily life in a war-shadowed Ukraine, he discovers a dark secret and must decide whether to risk his life by revealing it.
“Russian Woodpecker” is the nickname for the infamous low-frequency radio signal, transmitted from 1976 to 1989 from within the Soviet Union, which disrupted international communications with its random frequency hops. Some sources say the signal was renewed in 2014.