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Welcome (2009)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 March 2009 (France)
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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 »

Director:

Philippe Lioret

Writers:

Philippe Lioret (original scenario), Emmanuel Courcol (original scenario) | 2 more credits »
13 wins & 15 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 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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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

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,528, 9 May 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,461, 16 May 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Chashme Baddoor (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Simon
by Nicola Piovani
© 2009 Nord Ouest
See more »

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User Reviews

L'Europe est mort, vive l'Europe!
5 August 2009 | by davidgenesteSee all my reviews

Rightly so, Lioret's film 'Welcome' confronts us with a changing Europe, from one which used to be tolerant to the less-fortunate into one dominated by fear, exclusion and self-righteousness. The anonymous setting of the port of Calais - exchangeable with Dover, Bari or Tarifa or any other border town in Europe – and the hauntingly introvert piano score add to the growing hostilities towards refugees in Europe. The two main characters are, each in their own way, equally tragic: Bilal, a 17-year-old refugee from Kurdistan, in desperately pursuing an impossible dream, and Simon, a disappointed middle-aged French swimming instructor, in not being able to cling onto that dream. The friendship and the actual drama begin when they first meet in a local pool. So far so good. Regrettably, and perhaps regrettably, Lioret diminishes the intensity of this relationship by wanting to provide too many answers to too many irrelevant questions. The result is that story lines, actions and ultimately even the characters become blurred and incredible, which is a great sorrow to inflict on a topic of this social magnitude. One only wishes a little more Dardenne-style type of filming in this film! The strength of 'Welcome' is that is requires us to reconsider to what extent we are willing to be human, social and forgiving towards 'the other' in an ever-harshening world. By examining the attitudes of the shop manager, the neighbour and the bureaucrat, we are eventually confronted with ourselves. 'Welcome' is certainly not an easy film but a highly desirable one.


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