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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Simon Calmat
Firat Ayverdi ...
...
Marion Calmat
Derya Ayverdi ...
Mina
Thierry Godard ...
Bruno
Mehmet Selim Akgul ...
Zoran (as Selim Akgül)
...
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
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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

Taglines:

Friendship has no borders. True love has no limits.

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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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

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The neighbor of Simon who rats him out to the police, has a doormat with the word 'Welcome' printed on it. See more »

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?
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Connections

Spoofed in Chashme Baddoor (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Agata's Theme V1
by Wojciech Kilar
© 2009 Nord Ouest
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User Reviews

 
An Emotional View of the Illegal Immigration
10 July 2015 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The seventeen year-old Iraqi-Kurdish Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) has crossed the Middle East and Europe trying to reach England to meet his girlfriend Mina (Derya Ayverdi) that lives with her family. However he is caught in Calais, France, and sent to a refugee camp. Meanwhile the swimming coach Simon Calmat (Vincent Lindon) is divorcing his wife Marion Calmat (Audrey Dana) and he meets Bilal that wants to have swimming classes with him. Soon Simon learns that Bilal wants to cross the English Channel to be with Mina and the love of Bilal affects him. Simon befriends the teenager and decides to help him. But France penalizes those who help illegal immigrants and a neighbor denounces Simon to the authorities.

"Welcome" is a French film with an emotional view of the illegal immigration, one of the greatest social problems of the century. We see on the news Mexican, Cuban and South American refugees trying to immigrate to the USA; Middle East and African refugee trying to immigrate to Europe; African, Central American mainly from Haiti and South American refugees coming to Brazil. In common, all these people expect to have a better life in the new country. But most of them do not have professional qualification and increase the legion of unemployed or subemployed and illegal workers in the new country.

The director Philippe Lioret brings a different and romantic approach to this problem, with a love story entwined with the sympathetic gesture of solidarity of a man that is needy since he is divorcing his beloved wife and is punished by the French laws for helping the immigrant. The beautiful story is heartbreaking; the performances are top-notch; and this movie introduced a debate in France about illegal immigration. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Bem-Vindo" ("Welcome")


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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