Another word for minimalism is essential, and that’s fitting because The Russian Woodpecker has a minimalist poster design and is also an essential film. The powerful documentary, directed by Chad Gracia, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this morning, where it received a standing ovation, and now I’m proud to debut this official one-sheet that offers a literal and disturbing image for the title.
The “Russian Woodpecker” is really a nickname for a signal emitting from the Duga-3 radar tower outside Chernobyl, and the film follows the investigation into a conspiracy theory regarding its connection to the city’s 1986 nuclear power plant disaster. Also involving and culminating with the turmoil of the Euromaidan protests and subsequent Ukrainian revolution, the doc also offers some serious, sure to be controversial warnings for the future.
One of the producers of The Russian Woodpecker is Mike Lerner, who co-directed Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer and earned an Oscar nomination as producer of The Square. If you like both of those movies, you’re going to need to see this. Also of note to doc fans is the credit on the poster for acclaimed filmmaker Alan Berliner, who served as a supervising editor.
For those in Park City this week, The Russian Woodpecker plays four more times during the festival. It’s sure to be making the rounds and should receive distribution soon, for those who aren’t. For now, check out a clip from the film below via The Playlist.