COCA - The Dove from Chechnya

86 min. and 53 min.

Russian, Chechen, German, English

German or English

A Coproduction:
Doc Productions GmbH, Zürich/CH
Eric Bergkraut, Zürich/CH


Her parents gave Zainap Gashaeva the name «Coca» – the dove. Born in exile in Kazakhstan, she became a business woman and reared four children. Zainap has been documenting what have become daily events since 1994: abduction, torture, murders.
What has been declared an «anti-terrorist operation» by President Putin has taken on features of genocide. Up to thirty percent of the Chechen population may have been killed. The world is looking away; be it out of ignorance, helplessness or opportunism.
Together with other women, Zainap has been hiding hundreds of videotapes. She is now bringing these tapes to Western Europe to serve as evidence so that the guilty – on whichever side – are punished. Is she tilting at windmills?

Eric Bergkraut
Born in Paris, living in Switzerland since 1961.
1980-88 actor, then Life Reporting from all over the world, for the printed press first, for Swiss Television DRS later on. Since 1992 documentary films, among others
2003 Der fliegende Abt (The Flying Abbot)
2002 Sprenge deine Grenzen (Burst your Limits)
2000 Die sechste Klasse (6th Grade)
1997 Kontinent K. (Continent K.)
1992 Oggi siamo tutti un po' bene (Let's be good just for today)

Main characters

Zainap Gashaeva, «Coca»: Chechen, former business woman, now human rights activist and head of the organisation Echo of War.
Lipkhan Basaev, Chechen, linguist and former professor at Grozny University, now human rights activist wit the Russian organization Memorial, which won the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2005.
Tamara Rovkova, Chechen, teacher, now active as an independent human rights activist in Chechnya.
Ramsan Gashaev, Chechen, Coca’s husband, formerly employed at a large-scale bakery, now an emigrant in Ingushetia.
Anna Politkovskaia, Russian journalist with the «Novaja Gazeta» in Moscow, book author who won several foreign prizes. She survived an attempt to poison her when she tried to mediate in the hostage taking in Beslan.
Ruslan Bazgiev, Chechen student and asylum seeker in Switzerland.
Andrei Mironov, Russian chemist, now human rights activist.
Walter Kälin, Professor of law and member of the UN Human Rights Committee. Since 2004, representative of UN secretary general on the human rights of internally displaced persons.
Andreas Gross, Member of the Swiss National Council for the Social Democratic Party, representative in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, special envoy on Chechnya of the Council of Europe.
Walter Egli, vicar in Pfäffikon, Switzerland.
Ahmed Kadyrov, During the first Chechnya War (1994-1996), mufti and bitter opponent of Moscow. 2003-2004 President of Chechnya by Moscow’s grace, murdered in May 2004.
Ramsan Kadyrov, Ahmed’s son, leader of a notorious private army and today deputy prime minister of the Russian constituent republic of Chechnya.
Juri Tschaika, Justice minister of the Russian Federation and head of the Russian delegation to the UN Human Rights Committee.

Written and Directed by Eric Bergkraut
Photography Laurent Stoop
Editing Mireille Abramovici
Music Marie-Jeanne Serero
Sound Martin Witz, Jens-Peter Rövekamp, Luc Yersin, Rustam Achadov
Second Unit Camera Jens-Peter Rövekamp, Pierre Kaerle
Editing Consultant Martin Witz
Production Rose-Marie Schneider
Production Assistant Britta Holden
Digitising Malgorzata M. Grünenfelder-Wisniewska
Translations Eva Demircan, Lilian Chameides, Anna Ritz, Elena Ferster, Inna Cherkasova Berger
Mix Audiokraftwerk, Roberto Filaferro and Sound Design Studio, Hans Künzi
Online/Colour Grading/Special Effects Swiss Effects, Ian Mathys
Title Design Swiss Effects, Brigae Haelg
Commissioning Editors
SF DRS Paul Riniker, Madeleine Hirsiger
SRG SSR idée suisse Tiziana Mona, Alberto Chollet
ARTE, Documentary Department Ulle Schroeder
YLE TV1 Co-productions Eila Werning, Erkki Astala
Executive Producer Rose-Marie Schneider
Co-producer Eric Bergkraut


Quatuor Modigliani
Philippe Bernhard, violin
Loïc Rio, violin
Laurent Marfaing, viola
François Kieffer, violoncello
Recorded by Daniel Deshays

Hegi Mill Jazz Friends

Ensemble AZNACH (Chechnya)

Archive footage Zainap Gashaeva, Tamara Rovkova

With the support of
Federal Office of Culture (DHA), Switzerland
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
MIGROS Kulturprozent
Protestant Church of the Canton of Zurich
stiftung corymbo
Succès passages antenne

A Co-production of
Doc Productions GmbH and Eric Bergkraut

Distribution Switzerland
Look Now! Filmverleih

World RIghts
Doc Productions GmbH and Eric Bergkraut

ISAN 0000-0000-D9DC-0000-V


1st Int'l Human Rights Movie Award to 'Echo of War' and to the film COCA, Berlinale 2007
Rudolf Vrba award at the One World Festival in Prague, March 2006
Grand Prix Sergio Vieira de Mello (special mention) Int'l Filmfestival on Human Rights Geneva 2006
Lew-Kopelew-Preis 2005 für Frieden und Menschenrechte an Sainap Gaschaiewa