Genre: Documentary, Drama
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Vallorbe is a city in western Switzerland that's home to a government facility where exiles seeking asylum in the country wait to be interviewed by immigration agents, who then determine if they can be allowed to stay.
While Switzerland has become a popular destination for those fleeing politically unstable countries, only one percent of those who apply are granted asylum; the emigrants are allowed to stay in the Vallorbe detention facility for sixty days, and if their plea for asylum is denied, they have one day to leave the country and go elsewhere.
The intense human drama of life in the Vallorbe immigration office is captured on film in the documentary La Forteresse (aka The Fortress), in which filmmaker Fernand Melgar and his camera crew spent sixty days following several exiles eager to start life over in Switzerland, the sometimes uneasy interaction between the would-be immigrants, and the agents who must determine who is worthy and who is not.
The Fortress was an official selection at the 2008 Locarno Film Festival.