In addition to winning the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at Sundance (2015), among other prizes, The Russian Woodpecker has garnered positive reviews around the world. Here are a selection:
A complex documentary about Chernobyl that is surprisingly, richly enjoyable.
Rightly singled out by many as one of the more arresting and formally inventive documentaries at Sundance this year...
– THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
It’s a rollicking ride of masterly narrative construction unlike any other documentary in Sundance.
– THE GUARDIAN
The Russian Woodpecker is very much like Fedor himself — eccentric as hell, smart as a whip, and, at the end of the day, a heartbreaker.
— THE VILLAGE VOICE
An endlessly fascinating and sharply bizarre documentary ... mysterious, intense and altogether prophetic...
The Russian Woodpecker often plays like a Kubrick take on some awful situation -- like Clockwork Orange or Dr. Strangelove. The assemblage of real time search and archival footage is a wonder to behold.
– RED CARPET CRASH
Vibrating with a reckless creative urgency, The Russian Woodpecker is a call for political integrity lost long ago.
This is one wild magic carpet ride of a film.... – JAMES MCNALLY
A must-see...Alexandrovich and Ryzhykov... make an intriguing Holmes and Watson in this beautifully photographed and inventive documentary. – SALT LAKE MAGAZINE
This is such a curious and amazing film... I have no idea now if this is a documentary or a bizarrely truth conceived but fantastical narrative film. – IndieWire
Fedor Alexandrovich has the hypnotic power to become a generation’s counter- culture icon ... should leave most audiences completely stunned. Passionate, audacious and revolutionary... Watch at all costs. – FICKS’ PICKS
An unveiling of the past with intrigue worthy of All the President's Men and a warning cry for the future of an unstable region at the mercy of a tyrant, The Russian Woodpecker is an arresting, thought-provoking and seismically important creation." - CINE-VUE
What humanizes the topic considerably is Fedor himself, the charismatic protagonist of the film, whose childlike excitement to uncover the truth and his strong willed determination in the face of injustice is as inspiring as it is endearing. - Cinecola
WNYC Leonard Lopate Interview: Radioactive to His Bones, One Artist Investigates Chernobyl