bi'bakino #09


Thursday, 14.04.2016, at 8pm

bi’bakino #09 features the film The Shelter by director Fernand Melger who spent one winter in the heart of an emergency shelter for homeless people in Lausanne. At the entrance to this hidden bunker every night the same dramatic ritual unfolds, leading to occasionally violent confrontations. The watchmen have the difficult task of “sorting the poor”: women and children first, men later if there is room. Even if the shelter can hold 100 people, only 50 “chosen ones” will be allowed inside to receive a hot meal and a bed. The others know that the night will be a long one.

Fernand Melgar reports a new kind of poverty that hits not only Romanian Roma families, but also the former middle classes and African migrants from the crisis-shaken parts of Europe. And he relates how the rich part of Europe deals with it. By highlighting all sides, Melgar delivers more than a social study, it’s the nightmarish analysis of a system that can’t be repaired by merciful donations.

Directed by Fernand Melgar
Switzerland, 2014, 101 min, Original w/ English subtitles

Fernand Melgar was born in 1961 in Tangiers, Morocco into a family of Spanish anarchist exiles, he was clandestinely snuck into Switzerland by his parents in 1963 when they entered as seasonal workers. Since 1963 he lives in Lausanne. He is a self-taught and since 1985 he works as an independent director and producer.