Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Festivales de Buenos Aires

Film Info
La Forteresse

Film Information

Exhibition Title La Forteresse
Original Title La Forteresse
English Title The Fortress
Director Fernand Melgar
Year 2008
Format 35 mm
Colour Color
Duration 104'
  • Dirección / Director: Fernand Melgar
  • Guión / Scriptwriter: Fernand Melgar, Claude Muret
  • Fotografía / Cinematography: Camille Cottagnoud
  • Edición / Editing: Karine Sudan
  • Compañía Productora / Production Company: Climage
More info:


Throughout 2007, 10,387 people asked for asylum in Switzerland. 1,561 got it, and other 2,749 were given temporary admissions. The fortress of the title is the place where those who ask for asylum live while their case is decided. Throughout the course of a few weeks that could extend to a month or two, during which their basic necessities are fulfilled inside a building that is as much of a hotel as it is a prison, they will be interviewed a few times by Government employees who, after gathering all possible information, will recommend whether or not they should stay in the country. Melgar’s film covers that with lucidity and tact. Before such extraordinary situations, he opts not to become too noticeable, but also not to put himself completely in the shade, to erase himself. This “fly on the wall” documentary adds a presence that alters the genetics of the group due to the simple fact of being there, and Melgar, the refugees and employees know that. That’s where the contained tension of this film comes from. A film full of prodigious instances and stays: the ceremony of the Africans, the unfortunate confusion around the word “trunk”, the atrocious, maybe fictional, recount of the escape from Eritrea.


Schedule for this film

email info@festivales.gob.ar   phone 0800-333-7848 / M to F / 10:00am to 08:00pm
Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires