Bug-eyed, shaggy-haired and impassioned, Alexandrovich makes a riveting, even barnstorming presenter, fuelled by a sense of personal slight… Gracia’s film certainly strikes a formidable, if not lethal, blow.
November 27, 2015
The pay-off for more confounding moments in the film are staunch ideals that reveal themselves in little throwaway moments amid chaos. In a world in which some ruling states are armed and organised Goliaths willing to kill those that protest about them, The Russian Woodpecker’s heartfelt rebelliousness is a treasure for any David in search of a slingshot.
The profundity of this affecting deconstruction of grief hinges a lot on performance and storyline, but above all, it just might be a function of meticulous shooting and directing by someone impressively stretching to grasp the undefinable.
A very curious choice for a researcher, because he is not a journalist. The result is that it becomes more about storytelling and less about facts. With the credibility of the narrator in question, it forms a protective barrier around him. What you end up with is a very interesting story that would be hard to prove in the first place.
Not only the most punchable documentary subject since Zizek in the PERVERT'S GUIDE, but also the most punchable documentarian since the CATFISH team, for taking the urgent subject of modern Ukraine and concealing it behind a pretentious, maddeningly fragmented, conspiracy theory strewn hagiography about a hack artist with – I repeat – the world's most punchable face, rattling off about Chernobyl.
3+1 for great visuals. Exciting to watch though Fedor's intention to seek for ultimate enemy instead of looking for human flaws under such regimes being possible makes me concerned about such message's influence on e.g. Ukrainian society - definitely not the film aiming towards peace between both sides.