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November 19, 2011 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
With its reputation for economic stability and neutrality, it is not surprising that Switzerland remains a tempting haven for refugees fromAfrica and Eastern Europe. However, according to a Swiss law passed via referendum, those without documentation can be abruptly arrested, held without recourse to a lawyer for up to 24 months and summarily bundled onto a plane back to their country of origin. No warning is necessary, and there is no appeal. A follow-up to his award-winning The Fortress, Special Flight finds docu helmer Fernand Melgar again exploring issues surrounding undocumented immigrants in Switzerland. Melgar maintains a “pure” documentary style with no voiceover, barely any explanatory titles and no investigation. As a collective portrait of a group of hapless men held in detention with deportation looming, Special Flight is an affecting work. Rejected asylum seekers and illegal migrants are jailed at the administrative detention centre Frambois near Geneva. 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 defeated by fear and stress. Relations of friendship and hate, respect and revolt are formed until the announcement of the deportation, which is experienced like a stab. Those who refuse to leave are handcuffed, tied up and forcibly put in a plane.
Winner of the Ecumenical Prize at the Locarno FilmFestival.
Director Fernand Melgar I 2011 I 100mins I Int. sales Association Climage
Glasgow Film Theatre Sat 19 Nov 13:00
Edinburgh Filmhouse Sat 19 Nov 15:30