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.
Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!