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Fernand Melgar, Switzerland 2014, 101 Min., OV with English subs
Followed by a talk with

Fernand Melger 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, occasionally leading to 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.

The Shelter 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. He reveals how the rich parts 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.