On Demand

Special Flight

by Fernand Melgar
A chilling observational doc about undocumented migrants detained and scheduled for deportation in Switzerland.
2011  ·  1h40m  ·  Switzerland
English, French
English subs
About the Film

In 1994, the Swiss government approved a law authorizing the detention of all foreigners in an irregular situation until they are expelled. Every year, a purely administrative decision has thousands of men and women imprisoned without trial or sentence. Their only crime is to be paperless. Those who refuse to leave voluntarily are bound hand and foot, hooded, put in disposable diapers and forced into a plane. In this extreme situation, despair has a name: special flight.

Director Fernard Melgar follows up his award-winning documentary LA FORTRESSE (THE FORTRESS)—which dealt with the reception conditions for asylum seekers in Switzerland—with a look at the other end of the chain. SPECIAL FLIGHT turns its lens toward the end of the migrants’ journey. Melgar immersed himself for nine months in the administrative detention centre of Frambois in Geneva, one of the 28 deportation centres for undocumented migrants in Switzerland. Behind the closed prison doors, staff and inmates negotiate relationships that are full of tension, fear and stress on one side, and motivation, close connection and humanist values on the other.

Upcoming Screenings

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Festivals and Awards
2012
Festival du Film des Droits de l'Homme, Tunisia, Winner: Prix Meilleur Film Long Métrage
2012
This Human World, Vienna, Winner: One World Filmclubs Award
2012
4ème Certamen de Cine de Viajes del Ocejón, Spain, Winner: Grand Prix
2012
Festival Int. du cinéma des peuples, Winner: Prix spécial du Jury
2012
Prix Iris EUROPA, Berlin, Winner: Prix Europa
2012
Turin, Italy, Winner: Prix Italia
2012
Silverdocs Documentary Festival, Winner: Special World Feature Jury Mention
2012
Human Rights Film Festival in San Sebastian, Spain, Winner: Amnesty International Award
2012
Crossing Europe Film Festival, Austria, Winner: Fedeora Critics Award for Documentaries
2012
Full Frame Film Festival, Durham, USA, Winner: Anne Dellinger Grand Jury Award
2012
14ème Festival International du Documentaire de Ljubljana, Slovenia, Winner: Best Human Rights Film Award
2012
Prix du cinéma suisse, Winner: Quartz du meilleur documentaire suisse
2012
14th One World Human Rights Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, Winner: Grand prix du Jury
2012
10ème Festival International des Droits de l’Homme, Paris, Winner: Prix du Jury Lycéens et Apprentis
2012
47ème Journées de Soleure, Winner: Prix de Soleure
2012
Festival Watch Docs, Warsaw, Poland, Winner: Grand prix
2012
Festival des Libertés, Brussels, Winner: Mention spéciale du jury du festival
2012
Festival du Cinéma Francophone en Acadie, Moncton, New Brunswick, Winner: Grand Prix du meilleur documentaire
2012
64ème Locarno Film Festival, Winner: Premier prix du Jury Œcuménique
2012
64ème Locarno Film Festival, Premier prix du Jury des Jeunes
In the Press
Review
The New York Times
Editor
Karine Sudan and Prune Jaillet
Producer
Fernand Melgar, Stéphane Goël and Elise Shubs
Sound Editor
Gabriel Haffner and Christophe Giovannoni
Cinematographer
Denis Jutzeler
Production Company
Climage

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