2011, 100 minutes, French with English Subtitles

Documentary Website


SPECIAL FLIGHT is a dramatic account of the plight of undocumented foreigners at the Frambois detention center in Geneva, Switzerland, and of the wardens who struggle to reconcile humane values with the harsh realities of a strict deportation system. The 25 Frambois inmates featured are among the thousands of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants imprisoned without charge or trial and facing deportation to their native countries, where they fear repression or even death. The film, made in Switzerland, is a heart-wrenching exposé of the contradictions between the country’s compassionate social policies and the intractability of its immigration laws.

To get a copy of your chosen film, please contact Nelli Stavropoulou at . Please cite ‘Moving Worlds, special Refugee Week‘ package in your email. Don’t forget to check out the complementary post-screening resources to help navigate public conversations.


Anne Dellinger Grand Jury Award and Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award, 2012 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Special World Feature Jury Mention, 2012

AFI4 Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival, Best Documentary, 2012

Swiss Film Prize,  Best Film Award, 2012

One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Prix Italia, Current Affairs, 2012

TV IRIS Award, Prix Europa, 2012

Student Jury Prize, 2012

Paris International Film Festival on Human Rights

Amnesty International Grand Prize, 2012

San Sebastián Human Rights Film Festival Ecumenical Jury Prize and Junior Jury Award, 2011 Locarno International Film Festival


1. How does the language used by staff members of the detention centre resemble spaces of hospitality: “I wish you a pleasant stay.” What purpose does such language serve? What is the impact of such language choices on the residents and what are the potential dangers of using it?

2. What do you think about the relationship between detention staff and residents? Can there be a genuinely respectful relationship?

3. The word ‘home’ is frequently used in conversations between staff members and residents. What makes a country ‘home’ in your opinion?

4. “We just tried to find a better future here. Why? Because you came to Africa and destroyed everything, leaving wars behind. So we come here to seek a better life be- cause we’re human beings like you.” What do Abdoul’s words reveal in terms of the tension between refugees’ request for asylum and state responsibility?


Moving Worlds Resource Page for SPECIAL FLIGHT

Filmmaker interview, POV

In a Swiss Limbo, Sadly Bracing for Expulsion, New York Times