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Special Flight


While awaiting deportation from Switzerland, men are held in jail. Although their incarceration may last up to 24 months, deportation can be announced without warning and its enforcement is immediate. Behind the closed prison doors, tensions build day by day, as captured by a film crew with unprecidented access to a detention centre for illegal migrants. The wardens are charged with the responsibility of presiding over immigrants at the end of their journeys, defeated by fear and stress.


  • The New York Times
    "Worlds collide with the utmost courtesy in “Special Flight,” a somber and beautifully modulated documentary"
    Mike Hale
  • IndieWire
    "A heart-wrenching exposé of the contradictions between the country’s compassionate social policies and the intractability of its immigration laws."
    Tambay A. Obenson
  • Variety
    "The docu's subject get under the skin, and their plight represents one of the major challenges to immigration policy not just in Switzerland, but in the First World as a whole."
    Jay Weissberg
  • Le Temps
    "Melgar's cinema is non-judgemental. It does not separate the Good from the Bad; it captures life in all its contradictory drives, makes room for humor at the core of despair, reveals the truth in all its complexity, avoids the trap of prejudice, lends a face to the socially excluded, hits just where democracy hurts, [and] trusts the intelligence of its viewers. His is a socially engaged but nonetheless objective cinema."
    Antoine Duplan
  • Le Monde Diplomatique
    "The film director enables us to hear the diversity of voices that, because of the categories into which they generally fall – undocumented immigrants, the socially excluded or others still – generally remain unheard, attesting to his discerning grasp of social issues."
    Manouk Borzakian
  • 24 Heures
    "Thanks to the honesty and clarity of the stated facts, this film avoids all demagoguery in its revelation ofthe humanly revolting conditions surrounding the special flights. The individual destinies that Fernand Melgar handles are endowed witha rare emotional intensity and,formally, the resulting film does full honor to the cinema of the real."
    Jean-Louis Kuffer

Festival Participation

  • San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival
    Amnesty International Award
  • Solothurner Filmtage
    Prix de Soleure
  • Festival des Libertés
    Mention spéciale du Jury, Mention spéciale des droits de l'homme
  • Festival del film Locarno
    Premier Prix du Jury des Jeunes, Prix du Jury Oecuménique
  • Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie
    Grand Prix du meilleur documentaire
  • Watch Docs Human Rights International Film Festival
    Grand Prix
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
    enter for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award
  • Mumbaî
  • Leipzig
  • DocLisboa
  • Doha Tribeca film festival
  • RIDM
  • Festival Dei popoli
  • Bogotà La muestra documentale
  • FICFA, Acadie, Canada
  • Festival des Libertés
  • Gijon
  • French Film Festival UK

Distribution Company

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