Down 2,392 this week

Welcome (I) (2009)

 -  Drama  -  11 March 2009 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,984 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 30 user | 79 critic | 7 from

Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches ... See full summary »



(original scenario), (original scenario), 3 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 28 Jun 2011
a list of 47 titles
created 06 Jul 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 21 Sep 2012
list image
a list of 22 titles
created 6 months ago
a list of 40 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Welcome" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Welcome (2009)

Welcome (2009) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Welcome.
13 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Class (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.

Director: Laurent Cantet
Stars: François Bégaudeau, Agame Malembo-Emene, Angélica Sancio
Welcome I (2007)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After the passing away of his dark-skinned wife, from who they sired Uday, Dubai-based criminal don, Shankar Shetty re-married a fair-skinned woman, who gave birth to fair-skinned Sanjana. ... See full summary »

Director: Anees Bazmee
Stars: Akshay Kumar, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor
Incendies (2010)
Drama | Mystery | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother's last wishes.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Markus Rygaard
The Hunt (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp
A Separation (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.

Director: Asghar Farhadi
Stars: Peyman Moaadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat
Biutiful (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib
Babel (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Turkish man travels to Istanbul to find the daughter of his father's former girlfriend.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Baki Davrak, Gürsoy Gemec, Gengiz Daner
An Education (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

Director: Lone Scherfig
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hairdresser agrees to foster him on weekends.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Thomas Doret, Cécile De France, Jérémie Renier
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto


Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Calmat
Firat Ayverdi ...
Marion Calmat
Derya Ayverdi ...
Thierry Godard ...
Selim Akgul ...
Zoran (as Selim Akgül)
Firat Celik ...
Murat Subasi ...
Lieutenant Caratini
Yannick Renier ...
Mouafaq Rushdie ...
Le père de Mina
La mère de Mina (as Behi Djanati Ataï)
Patrick Ligardes ...
Le voisin de Simon
Jean-Pol Brissart ...
Le juge
Blandine Pélissier ...
La juge aux affaires familiales


Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches Calais, but how do you cover 32 kilometers of the English Channel when you can't swim? The boy soon discovers that his trip won't be as easy as he imagined... The community of struggling illegal aliens in Calais is captured with authenticity, from the point of view of people who arrived there knowing nothing about France. This immigrant drama, with wonderful performances by the actors, is a strong story which uses documentary austerity and minimalist style to create a great emotional impact. Written by Warsaw Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

11 March 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bem-Vindo  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,528 (USA) (7 May 2010)


$13,461 (USA) (14 May 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Simon finds Mina in London, in the background is a sign for "Elephant and Castle Shopping Center" - in British English, the spelling "centre" would be used. See more »


Spoofed in Chashme Baddoor (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Romeo and Juliet, across the Channel
2 March 2010 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

Illegal immigration is the subject of this ironically titled film. But whatever generalizations it has to make are embodied in beautifully realized and touching characters and a specific story, which combines one of France's ablest and most experienced actors, Vincent Lindon, with a young Kurdish newcomer, Firat Ayverdi. Ayverdi plays the role of Bilal, a 17-year-old Iraq-born Kurd who needs to get from France to England to meet his sweetheart.

Welcome begins with an intense focus on the border crossers Bilal is with. He has come a long way on his own, hanging under railway cars. Here he learns that won't work because the trains go too fast. He has to pay a handler to be hidden with others in a cargo truck. Images of the border lit up at night at the huge interchange near Calais, with dozens of huge cargo trucks slowly moving back and forth, are both beautiful and terrifying, reminiscent of the opening sequence of Arnaud des Pallières' Adieu. The sense of being at the mercy of vast forces is overwhelming. The cargo truck escape attempt fails both for Bilal and for the group of other young Kurds with him because Bilal can't stand to keep a plastic bag over his head during the customs inspection to avoid setting off the carbon dioxide detectors. He's held and released in Calais with the others, in legal limbo, with nowhere to stay, caught in the "jungle" of other illegals hoping to get to England.

Bilal, we gradually learn, is an excellent athlete and has now decided to try to go it alone and swim the channel. He begins visiting the municipal swimming pool, where he pays Simon (Lindon), a swim coach, to teach him how to do the crawl and train for a long swim. Their interchanges are made rough and simple by the fact that Bilal speaks no French and Simon's English is limited. Simon is lonely and stressed out because his wife Marion (a soulful Audrey Dana) has left him. He also feels useless because a promising career as a competitive swimmer stopped short years ago, leaving him with this mediocre job. Locally the immigrants wandering in legal limbo are looked down on, and you can get harassed by police and subject to legal action for in any way helping them. There is an executive officer in the local constabulary specifically charged with seeing that these rules are enforced. Simon shares the general indifference to the young illegals' plight, but takes a liking to the bright-eyed, highly motivated Bilal, and soon realizes what his training goal is.

Marion runs an on-the-street soup kitchen that helps the illegals. She obviously sympathizes with them and for doing so is harassed by cops herself. After taking in Bilal and a friend for a night early on, Simon gradually warms to their plight and also realizes that his actions may make Marion look on him more favorably. He is soon hassled by police due to a nasty neighbor who rats on him. But this only strengthens his resolve to help the boy and draws them closer. Meanwhile Lioret seamlessly deepens our understanding of Bilal with a swift succession of understated scenes. The youth was a soccer champion and runner back home and dreams of trying out for Manchester United. His girlfriend Mina (Derya Ayverdi) is with her family in London, who are in the restaurant business. Her father disapproves of her relationship with Bilal and an arranged marriage with somebody else is in the offing. Simon continues to be impressed by Bilal's single-minded devotion. Bilal and Mina are like Romeo and Juliet, separated by the English Channel.

Bilal is making great progress in the pool, but his situation otherwise continues to be extremely dicey. Mina can rarely speak to him on the phone and he's mostly on the street with other Kurds, one of whom is out to get him for causing them to be caught in the truck. Things get better between Marion and Simon but more and more urgent for Bilal, who's now trying longer swims in the Channel itself wearing a wet suit. News comes that Mina is to be married off shortly. She sends a despairing message to Bilal that it's hopeless and he should not try to come. It's winter and Simon urges him not to try now, that it's too dangerous, and he should seek a way to remain in France legally. Lindon is typically subtle and convincing as a man in crisis drawn out of himself. Firat Ayverdi is an understated player with a strong natural presence.

The final scenes of Welcome are deeply touching. I never thought seeing Manchester United on a TV screen could make me cry. This is a strong, vivid little film that tells its story with deft strokes and authentic atmosphere. The ideas of swimming the Channel, the star-crossed lovers, and the emotionally stressed grown-up who finds a sense of values through a youth are simple and standard enough, but Lioret's film-making and the acting are so good it all works, and the script by Lioret, Olivier Adam and Emmanuel Courcol is idiomatic and natural. The injustice and confusion of immigration policies are made extremely clear without ever resorting to a single moment of generalization.

Welcome opened in Paris on March 11, 2009 to universal critical acclaim. Its critics rating on Allociné is 3.3 with a score of 88 points. The film won the Lumière Award for Best film; one César nomination (Best Cinematography) and two awards at Berlin. It was shown in March 2010 as part of the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the series sponsored jointly by uniFrance and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and shown to the public at the Walter Reade Theater and the IFC Center, New York. Lioret's previous film, Don't Worry, I'm Fine/Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas, was included in the Rendez-Vous series in 2007.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Would you help clan-destines? rkm-11
3 things that just didn't make sense to me alonsanfan
contravertial intent? tommy_raine
Why did not they use larger plastic bags? mochiliu84
Are the actors related to one another? gf1701
thx to france for this movie for kurds :D kurdish_soccer
Discuss Welcome (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: