7.6/10
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47 user 85 critic

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 »

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(original scenario), (original scenario) | 2 more credits »
13 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Simon Calmat
Firat Ayverdi ... Bilal
... 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

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

11 March 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bem-Vindo  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

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?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Chashme Baddoor (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
One from the Left
23 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

Virtually all the reviews here are laudatory but something odd is noticed. The countries most concerned in this lugubrious depiction of the illegal migrant experience are France and England, yet there is not an English or French voice among the lavish praise!

Yes, it is easy to say national borders should be open and unrestricted, as long as it is some other nation whose borders are to be crossed.

Bilal is a seventeen year old boy from Mosul in Iraqi Kurdistan. He wants to go to England to be with Mina. Bilal also wants to work in England to earn money to send back to his family in Iraq. This will be good for his family, good perhaps for Iraq or the autonomous Kurdistan region. Not so good for Great Britain, of course, sending its wealth abroad, but Bilal doesn't care about that. Neither does the maker of this film.

In reaching France, Bilal has violated the laws of all the countries he has passed through but he doesn't care one whit for that. Neither does the maker of this film.

A proper treatment of the complex question of migration from the Third World to the First would try to balance individual stories with mass migration's effect overall. But this film has no pretension of impartiality. In focuses on the story of one migrant, his dreams and many travails, and gives no consideration at all to whether England, France or the innocent townsfolk of Calais are required or even prepared to receive thousands of penniless migrants who have no desire to assimilate into Western societies.


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