Ivars Zviedris: See You Never Ever

I am a big fan of Ivars Zviedris, Latvian director and cinematographer. His «Documentarian» and «Latvian Coyote» are films that I think high of and now there is his new work that was awarded at the National Cinema Ceremony, where Zviedris received the Best Documentary Director – the lielaja-kristapa – award.

Ivars Zviedris is in a way a classical documentarian – I have the impression that he graps his camera to go to film trusting his intuition and eye for situations. And People. It is obvious that he has no problems in getting in contact with those he wants to film, those whose stories he wants to convey. He is curious and pretty far from having an academic approach. He listens.

I have chosen to bring to you the synopsis of the film by copying it from the catalogue of the Riga FF. It is precise and thank you for calling the people in the film «protagonists» and not characters…:

The film begins with the closing of the oldest prison in Latvia – the Brasa Prison was built in 1905 and cannot ensure normal functioning. Inmates are leaving the place that has long been their only home. 

Our protagonists reside in Ward 207. They have really inhabited it – there is even a fish tank in the ward! They are not from a different planet. Humanity of the inmates may contrast with their records of committed crimes. All have their small pleasures and big plans. All are longing for changes and being afraid of them. Likewise, the term of imprisonment is running out for several of our protagonists. They are getting ready for life at large. They know how to survive in extreme circumstances but are unprepared for living a normal life. One’s return to the big world is one of the most accentuated marginal situations. 

Latvia, 2021, 80 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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