|Sound:||Christophe Giovannoni, Jürg Lempen|
|Production:||Climage - Lausanne, RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, SRG SSR, Arte|
|International Sales: |
Climage - Lausanne
Rue du Maupas 8
CH-1004 Lausanne Suisse
tél ++41 21 648 35 61
fax ++41 21 646 27 87
104' / 2011 / Switzerland
After The Fortress, which portrayed the reception conditions for asylum seekers in Switzerland, Fernand Melgar takes a look at the end of the migrants' journey. Awaiting definite deportment from the Swiss territory, men are jailed at the administrative detention centre Frambois. As their request for asylum has failed, they are ordered to leave, some of them after having spent several years in Switzerland, worked, paid taxes, started a family. Although incarceration may last up to 24 months, the deportment is announced without warning and its implementation is imminent. Behind the closed prison doors, tension builds day by day. On one side there are wardens full of humanist values, on the other there are men at the end of their journey, defeated by fear and stress. Relations of friendship and hate, respect and revolt are formed until the announcement of the deportment, which is experienced like a stab. This relationship ends mostly in distress and humiliation. Those who refuse to leave are handcuffed, tied up and forcibly put in a plane. In this extreme situation, despair has a name: special flight.
Swiss Film Prize “Quartz 2012” – Best Documentary Film
Solothurner Filmtage – Prix de Soleure
Locarno – Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and First Prize of the Junior Jury
Fernand Melgar was born into a family of Spanish unionists exiled to Tangiers (Morocco). His parents smuggled him in with them when, in 1963, they emigrated to Switzerland as seasonal Labourers. In the early eighties, he cut short his business studies in order to found, together with several friends, the Cabaret Orwell in Lausanne, soon a mecca for French-speaking Switzerland’s underground culture; later, he created the internationally renowned rock music venue La Dolce Vita, also in Lausanne. After endowing the latter night spot with a programme of creative video projections, he became a self-taught, freelance film director and producer. In 1983, he began putting together various experimental films and iconoclastic reportages for television. In 1985 he joined Climage*, a collective to which he belongs to this day, and with whom he produced around a dozen documentaries, now considered as benchmarks on the topics of immigration and identity. His documentary Exit –The Right to Die has garnered several international awards, including the prestigious 2006 EBU Golden Link Award for the Best European Co-Production, and the 2006 Swiss Film Prize. Winner of the screenplay competition launched by Télévision Suisse Romande (French-speaking Switzerland’s broadcasting centre) in 2007, Melgar is currently working on his first fiction feature film, Far Behind the Mountain. He lives and works in Lausanne.
*Created in 1985, Climage groups together several individualists who have similar ideas on independent and engaged filmmaking. Today, Climage has become one of Frenchspeaking Switzerland’s most prolific producers of documentaries.
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