Bilal sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe and wants to get to England to see his love who lives there.

Director:

Philippe Lioret

Writers:

Philippe Lioret (original scenario), Emmanuel Courcol (original scenario) | 2 more credits »
13 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Lindon ... Simon Calmat
Firat Ayverdi Firat Ayverdi ... Bilal
Audrey Dana ... Marion Calmat
Derya Ayverdi Derya Ayverdi ... Mina
Thierry Godard ... Bruno
Mehmet Selim Akgul Mehmet Selim Akgul ... Zoran (as Selim Akgül)
Firat Çelik ... Koban
Murat Subasi Murat Subasi ... Mirko
Olivier Rabourdin ... Lieutenant Caratini
Yannick Renier Yannick Renier ... Alain
Mouafaq Rushdie Mouafaq Rushdie ... Le père de Mina
Behi Djanati Atai ... La mère de Mina (as Behi Djanati Ataï)
Patrick Ligardes Patrick Ligardes ... Le voisin de Simon
Jean-Pol Brissart ... Le juge
Blandine Pélissier 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

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

Bilal Song
by Nicola Piovani
© 2009 Nord Ouest
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User Reviews

 
Thought-provoking and moving picture on human solidarity and affection
3 January 2010 | by yris2002See all my reviews

After watching this movie in an almost desert movie theatre I was overwhelmed by sadness, but after reflecting upon it, I could discover very positive feelings and a very interesting view of the theme handled. What I liked most is the idea of intertwining the story of human solidarity between Bilal and Simon with the also deep relationship between Simon and his wife Marion. I intended the movie truly thought-provoking in the way it manages to make one reflect on the concept of the "other", who is not only the distant, unknown one, and on the idea that human solidarity begins with those who live with us or near us day after day. Marion is so animated by the need to help the poor, abandoned clandestines, that she has in turn completely abandoned, physically and psychologically, her husband, to the point of being no longer able to see his truly loving soul. And the sad, moving and intense story between Bilal and Simon will help both to understand the value of human affection, which starts from the nearest ones, leading naturally to the furthest ones. I think this is a very interesting perspective, which goes beyond social denunciation and void criticism of institutions, because it appeals to the conscience of the single man and woman and seems to ask him/her: how much are you ready, in first person, to give to others, to go beyond selfish needs, how much are you able to sympathize with anyone, where anyone is a member of your family, as well as the "anyone" you may meet on the journey of your life? The cast, above all Vincent Lindon and Audrey Dana, are extraordinarily good in the way they manage to speak with conciseness and naturalness to the heart of the viewer. It is a movie which makes one reflect deeply on the reality of the clandestines (with which each European citizen and authority have to come to terms daily, without often finding certain and respectful attitudes) but more deeply on the very essence of human affection. A must see.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Kurdish | English | Turkish

Release Date:

11 March 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Bem-Vindo See more »

Filming Locations:

Calais, Pas-de-Calais, France See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,578,009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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