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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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(original scenario), (original scenario) | 3 more credits »
13 wins & 15 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
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

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

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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 talks to Marion in his kitchen, she comes to him with the coffee-pot in her left hand and he touches that arm. In the next shot, she is suddenly no longer holding the pot, and when she steps aside it is already standing on the table. 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

 
Welcome...
30 October 2009 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

The noun's meaning: a cordial greeting or hospitable reception given upon arrival; as well as its verb and adjective are horribly absent in Calais.

The crossing of the Channel is a treacherous endeavor for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. The Channel Passers charge an arm and a leg (with little to no regards for safety conditions) for their clandestine operations. If caught asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are processed, tried, and sentenced to a life in limbo.

Their status allows them to stay in Calais but they are unwelcome and not allowed crossover to the Promised Land. Social workers are kept under careful watch and harassed by the authorities.

It is illegal to welcome an asylum seeker in your home. Jail time is awarded to good souls.

From Calais; when the fog clears, you can catch a glimpse the white cliffs of Dover: 34 km of rough waters to reach the Promised Land. By boat it takes 35 minutes to cross the Channel. By swimming… the world record was set at 6 hours and 57 minutes by a professional swimmer.

After traveling over 3000 km; from Iraq to France, Bilal; a Kurdish refugee, will attempt to crossover the Channel, by any means necessary.

This is a beautiful but devastating movie that will haunt your nights and dog your days.

Simply put: it is a must.


26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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