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Program 11

When you Fly (Get Kicked) Out of Switzerland

Vol spécial

Thursday, November 14, 2013, 7 p.m.

„Vol spécial“
D: Fernand Melgar, CH 2011, 103 min

More than 200,000 people in Switzerland live in constant fear: in the land in which they have built up new lives and founded families, the authorities have the power to kick them out them from one day to the next. Without having committed any crime, they are at risk of being “deported,” handcuffed and gagged, via Vol special (special flight). Fernand Melgar spent nine months in Frambois in Geneva, in one of the twenty-eight deportation centers in Switzerland, which executes the so-called “administrative detention” for refused asylum seekers. His camera’s gaze is distant, precise, and penetrating. He observes the relationship between those who are being held and their state custodians, in which the entire schizophrenia of fortress Europe is reflected. Fernand Melgar: “After every deportation flight, we call to ask how the journey was. All of their statements are overwhelming. Not only did they feel as though they had been thrown out of Switzerland like bags of trash, they also suffered physical and psychological consequences from the experience. Some were arrested or robbed by the police in their home country, in some cases before the eyes of the Swiss representative traveling with them.” The tables will turn one day says a distraught family father. Then Europe will not be able to hold onto its position of power.

Conversation with the director Fernand Melgar.