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Welcome (I) (2009)

 -  Drama  -  11 March 2009 (France)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,135 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 30 user | 80 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Title: Welcome (2009)

Welcome (2009) on IMDb 7.6/10

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14 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Simon Calmat
Firat Ayverdi ...
...
Marion Calmat
Derya Ayverdi ...
Mina
Thierry Godard ...
Bruno
Selim Akgul ...
Zoran (as Selim Akgül)
Firat Celik ...
Koban
Murat Subasi ...
Mirko
...
Lieutenant Caratini
Yannick Renier ...
Alain
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
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

11 March 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bem-Vindo  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$13,461 (USA) (14 May 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Marion Calmat: Know what barring people from shops means? Want me to buy you a history-book?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Chashme Baddoor (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unpleasant take on modern refugee policy
22 November 2009 | by (Turkey) – See all my reviews

In Philippe Lioret's latest film Welcome the title is obviously a contradiction, but the meaning of the contradiction itself is just as obvious. It's about illegal aliens in Europe, in this specific film narrowed down to Calais in France. And they are certainly not welcome.

Pic holds an unsettling tone throughout. While story lines tend to diverge, it's reminiscent of Ulrich Seidl's Import/Export in that it tells a story about people in motion in contemporary Europe. People whose conditions were bad from their take-off point, but becomes nonexistent in the grand, boarder-less EU. The limitations with this modern refugee policy of EU is that it only benefits our own. This is all old news for Lioret's protagonist Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) who comes from war-torn Iraq. His journey to Calais where the story begins has been long and painful, and the way to his love in London seems to stretch far beyond the horizon for the seventeen year old refugee.

These are harsh times, Lioret proclaims through images of a port district infested with immigrants, battering cops and even authorities that manifest a despicable manner not only towards refugees but just as well to people trying to help them. One of them is Simon (Vincent Lindon), a disgraced ex-champion in swimming. He seeks atonement in Bilal for his previous mistakes in life and the two becomes committed to each other. But in these harsh times nothing is certain and struggle lays ahead for both of them.

Philippe Lioret covers pretty much the whole lot of it. Each of his characters carries around on fear, despair, desires, love, longings and struggle. It is classic ingredients taken from the ordinary lives of those immigrants. In Welcome, however, it blends well with the non-immigrants as well. It is something they have to live with constantly, but something that is exposed to us at times as well. It is indeed an unpleasant take on modern refugee policy, but it is nevertheless a necessary take.


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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