Fedor, a Ukrainian artist who survived the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, discovers a dark secret and decides to risk his life by revealing it. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival.
Fedor Alexandrovich is a radioactive man. He was just four years old in 1986, when he was exposed to the toxic effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and forced to leave his home. Now 33, he is an artist in Ukraine, with radioactive strontium in his bones and a singular obsession with the catastrophe – why did it actually happen? Was there more to the story than the Soviet government let on? And, most importantly, what did this all have to do with the giant, mysterious steel pyramid now rotting away 2 miles from the disaster site: a hulking Cold War weapon known as the Duga and nicknamed “the Russian Woodpecker” for the strange, constant clicking radio frequencies that it emits?
Chad Gracia’s documentary plays out like a conspiracy thriller, following Fedor as he returns to the ghost towns in the radioactive Exclusion Zone to try to find answers – and to decide whether to risk his life by revealing them, amid growing clouds of Ukraine’s emerging revolution and war.