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Press conference with Fernand Melgar, director of Vol Spécial


(Votes count 475)

(Rating average 3,07)

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Press conference with Fernand Melgar, director of Vol Spécial
by Elena Duque
Fernand Melgar's press conference turned into a very interesting debate about immigration, a sign that the film achieved its goal: make us think. Melgar pointed out that "it is the first time in Switzerland that somebody has been able to shoot at a detention centre". He remembered that "two years ago I did La forteresse, about the entry of those who want to migrate to Switzerland".

"Vol Spécial can be seen as its continuation, because it's about the exit". The director talked about the process of the film, that took "six months of observation and two of shooting. For six months I went everyday to the centre almost like an employee. It was important to me to be inside the system to extract the most of it while filming".

Edition, according to Melgar, took a year, "because we had to choose the people who would be in the final cut, the most outstanding and representative. It was difficult to leave some people out". He also spoke about the style of the film, emphasizing that "there isn't any comment or music to point out the emotions that should be felt, because this would take away from the audience the power to think for themselves".

Melgar commented that "not only the detained but also the guards are imprisoned in this system. Europe is closing its frontiers and turning into a prison because of immigration". As well as talking about the inhuman conditions of some of the centres (the one we see in the film is a "model centre"), Melgar talked about the paradoxical condition of the guards (volunteers, a lot of them refugees), "whose speech is that "better us than somebody else here". The interesting part is that all of them say "I'm just doing my job the best I can", and that's the chain that binds them".

It was unavoidable talking about the stir the film raised in Switzerland (Melgar confesses that he's being labelled as an "extreme left terrorist"), and the viral reaction of the extreme right to the reality it portrays.

He also talked about the bias of the Swiss media that "are owned by financiers that also support the extreme right", and his country's atmosphere in which "a deaf war against inmigration" is being lived. A theme that is very close to him because his parents are Spanish inmigrants and he suffered clandestinity as a child. A situation that he can't stop comparing to the time preceding the Third Reich, because of the escalation of anti-inmigration policies.