26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Latvian Coyote
Latvian Coyote
Latvian Coyote
Latvian Coyote

Latvian Coyote

director: Ivars Zviedris
original title: Valkātājs
country: Latvia
year: 2020
running time: 90 min.


The Latvian-Russian border may seem like just an area of endless swampy forests and villages filled with dilapidated buildings and no people. But this inhospitable place also happens to be a destination for refugees from various countries heading through Eastern Europe, as it not only represents the end of their painful journey but also the pathway into the Schengen Zone and open borders. Long-term unemployment and an influx of immigrants have creative a new job opportunity for smugglers known as “coyotes”, who risk their own freedom to help others find freedom for a small reward. This observational documentary shot over the course of three years follows smugglers, refugees, and law enforcement: three sides of a hopeless socio-economic triangle.
“My goal was to show a border portrait of the border. It seems to me that there is a tunnel — a 2-kilometre-wide tunnel called the "border zone." And in that tunnel you can very well see how the world is changing, how globalisation is happening.” I. Zviedris 
Q&A with Ivars Zviedris:


Latvian director, cinematographer, and producer Ivars Zviendris (1967) has worked as a correspondent for LTV public television since the mid-1990s. In 2001, he graduated from the Latvian Academy of Culture and began profiling himself as an author of impactful portraits. His films regularly receive awards for best domestic documentary. He has also enjoyed much success abroad with his films Come, Erik (2005), Tide (2009) and Documentarian (together with Inese Klava, 2012).

more about film

director: Ivars Zviedris
producer: Marta Bite, Ivars Zviedris
script: Ivars Zviedris
photography: Ivars Zviedris, Haralds Ozols
editing: Haralds Ozols
sound: Ivars Zviedris, Haralds Ozols
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Kudy z nudy