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The Russian Woodpecker (2015)

Not Rated | | Documentary, War | 16 October 2015 (USA)
1:53 | Trailer

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As his country is gripped by revolution and war, a Ukrainian victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster discovers a dark secret and must decide whether to risk his life and play his part in the revolution by revealing it.


Chad Gracia


Chad Gracia
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Testimonies of Chernobyl based on the book of Svetlana Alexievitch

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Credited cast:
Andrei Alexandrovich Andrei Alexandrovich ... Fedor's Father
Fedor Alexandrovich ... Himself
Igor Alexandrovich Igor Alexandrovich ... Fedor's Son
Natalia Barabovskaya Natalia Barabovskaya ... Chernobyl Historian (as Dr. Natalia Baranovskaya)
Andrei Bilyk Andrei Bilyk ... Chernobyl Chief Engineer
Fedor Chebanenko Fedor Chebanenko ... Duga Data Commander (as Lt-Col. Fedor Chebanenko)
Charlie D'Agata Charlie D'Agata ... Himself - CBS News Foreign Correspondent (archive footage)
Anatoly Duatlov Anatoly Duatlov ... Chernobyl Engineer
Fedor Dubrovka Fedor Dubrovka ... Radar Professor
Mikhail Gorbachev ... Former President Russia (archive footage)
Viktor Janoekovytsj Viktor Janoekovytsj ... Former President Ukraine (archive footage)
Vitali Klytsjko Vitali Klytsjko ... Mayor of Kiev / Opposition Leader (archive footage)
Vladimir Komarov Vladimir Komarov ... Head of Chernobyl Investigation Committee
Georgy Kopchinski Georgy Kopchinski ... Last Soviet Head of Atomic Energy
Svetlana Korotkova Svetlana Korotkova ... Art Critic


As his country is gripped by revolution and war, a Ukrainian victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster discovers a dark secret and must decide whether to risk his life and play his part in the revolution by revealing it.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Documentary | War


Not Rated


Official Sites:

Official site


Ukraine | UK | USA


Russian | English

Release Date:

16 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il complotto di Chernobyl - The Russian Woodpecker See more »

Filming Locations:

Ukraine See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The Russian Woodpecker was originally planned as a 5-minute piece to be published on YouTube for director Chad Gracia's friends and family. He had never made a film and thought a short clip about the Duga antenna might make a fun side project. See more »

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User Reviews

Visually engaging but rather empty 'truther-lite' documentary
30 November 2015 | by MakariySee all my reviews

This documentary presents numerous speculations about the Chernobyl disaster (most notably alleging that it may have been an 'inside job' done to cover up a costly failed Soviet intelligence project).

The film clearly doesn't seem to know whether to back these wild notions and thus 'expose the conspiracy', or to let them represent the troubled/visionary mind of the artist-protagonist Fedor Alexandrovich. It hedges its bets, rather like a horoscope its meaning is largely down to you.

This leaves the film with a conspicuous absence in the place where its core integrity should be. I saw this at a festival with filmmaker present and he gave open-ended answers regarding to the conspiracy angle when questioned by the audience. This leaves the film with an artificial range of interpretation, because it lacks any real conviction of its own. It should be noted that some of the footage is great, but unfortunately the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

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