2015 Sundance World Documentary Grand Jury Prize-Winner

“Herzogian” – Mark Cousins

A complex documentary about Chernobyl that is surprisingly, richly enjoyable. – Variety

Rightly singled out by many as one of the more arresting and formally inventive documentaries at Sundance this year… The Russian Woodpecker offers a wild ride through Ukrainian and Soviet history, from the famines of the early 30s through Chernobyl and up to the present-day war with Russia.  – The Hollywood Reporter

Gracia’s peculiar documentary grafts together two apparently unrelated themes to spectacular effect…  it’s a rollicking ride of masterly narrative construction unlike any other documentary in Sundance. – The Guardian

The brilliance of “The Russian Woodpecker,” an endlessly fascinating and sharply bizarre documentary, is that it starts out as a nutty conspiracy theory before morphing into something far more relevant and barbed… mysterious, intense and altogether prophetic… -IndieWire

There are precious few documentaries that can compare to Woodpecker’s unclassifiable tone or its sense of urgency. – JB Spins

Vibrating with a reckless creative urgency, The Russian Woodpecker is a call for political integrity lost long ago. –

Although ostensibly a non-fiction film, The Russian Woodpecker plays so much with the notion of contradictory stories—and the ultimate unknowability of truth in a totalitarian state that edits its own reality (to say nothing of Fedor‘s glorious inherent theatricality)—that it ultimately is simply a film rather than a fiction or non-fiction one. – Salt Lake City Weekly

He might be Don Quixote and he might be Edward Snowden. And before the end of The Russian Woodpecker, filmmaker Chad Gracia‘s chronicle of this investigation, you may very well believe him. – NonFics

This is one wild magic carpet ride of a film… unsettling and extremely compelling. Shorts… – James McNally

The Russian Woodpecker’s timeliness may be encouragement enough to make this a must-see, but Alexandrovich and Ryzhykov are great characters as well, and they make an intriguing Holmes and Watson in this beautifully photographed and inventive documentary. – Salt Lake Magazine

This is such a curious and amazing film. Very beautifully, hauntingly photographed. No matter what they say I have no idea now if this is a documentary or a bizarrely truth conceived but fantastical narrative film. – SydneysBuzz

The film’s young Ukrainian crusader Fedor Alexandrovich has the hypnotic power to become a generation’s counter-culture icon while the history lessons of the many interviews in this vibrant piece should leave most audiences completely stunned. Passionate, audacious and revolutionary… Watch at all costs. – Ficks’ Picks