Edit
Welcome (2009) - Plot Summary Poster

(I) (2009)

Plot

Showing all 4 items
Jump to:

Summaries

  • 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.

  • The seventeen year-old Irali-Kurdish Bilal has crossed the Middle East and Europe trying to reach England to meet his girlfriend Mina that lives with her family. However he is caught in Calais, France, and sent to a refugee camp. Meanwhile the swimming coach Simon Calmat is divorcing his wife Marion Calmat 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.

  • The seventeen year-old Iraqi-Kurdish Bilal has crossed the Middle East and Europe trying to reach England to meet his girlfriend Mina that lives with her family. However he is caught in Calais, France, and sent to a refugee camp. Meanwhile the swimming coach Simon Calmat is divorcing his wife Marion Calmat 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.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Bilal (Firat Ayverdi), a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee, has spent the last three months of his life travelling across Europe in an attempt to reunite with his girlfriend who recently emigrated to England. The journey has been difficult, but the end is in sight when Bilal finally reaches the far north coast of France, where he can literally see the white cliffs of Dover across the English Channel. But it is here that his journey comes to an abrupt halt as local authorities, and the immigration laws they are enforcing, prevent him from going any further. Not content with merely looking upon the country he desires to call his home, Bilal devises a plan to swim across the bitterly cold waters of the Channel, and heads to the local swimming pool to commence his training. It is here that he crosses paths with Simon (Vincent Lindon), a middle-aged swimming instructor with a dejected spirit, who is privately reeling in turmoil as he dreads an imminent divorce from his wife (Audrey Dana). Despite their differing ages, the two men discover that they have much in common, and their friendship develops into a strong bond that will prove necessary for both men to realise their dreams for a happy future. A huge box office success in its native France, writer-director Philippe Lioret (Dont Worry, Im Fine) has created an absorbing story that speaks not only of the social issues of the day, but of the very nature of the human spirit.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page