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Movie InfoBilal, a 17-year-old Kurdish boy, has traveled through Middle East and Europe to join his girlfriend, freshly immigrated to England. But, his journey comes to an abrupt end when he is stopped on the French side of the Channel. Having decided to swim across, Bilal goes to the local swimming pool to train. There he meets Simon, a swimming instructor in the midst of a divorce. To impress his wife and win back her heart, Simon decides to risk everything by taking Bilal under his wing.
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Critic Reviews for Welcome
Puts you so completely into the shoes of a young man facing almost insurmountable obstacles that you feel a profound empathy not only for him but also for all who are ready to risk everything for the dream of a better life.
[It] has its share of clichés and contrivances. Fortunately, compensation is provided by strong performances by veteran actor Vincent Lindon as the coach and newcomer Firat Ayverdi as the refugee.
Don't discount the pleasure of watching a weathered star breathe life into an otherwise banal film.
Starting strong with its atmospheric immersion in the herd of immigrants killing time by the docks, Welcome quickly shrugs off credibility by equating Bilal's quest with Simon's angst over his recent divorce.
A one-note moral lesson devoid of dialogue with the very hot-button topics it feigns interest in.
...the 'white man's perspective' on the Middle Eastern immigrant saga seen from the Afghan POV in Michael Winterbottom's "In This World..."
By keeping the focus firmly on the personal relationship between the two men Lioret lifts his story out of cliche and into a place where emotions flourish.
Loiret's story is inherently affecting, made more so by veteran actor Vincent Lindon, who owns one of cinema's all-time great hangdog expressions.
An astonishing film about the struggle of a Kurdish immigrant to get from Calais to England and the assistance he obtains from a middle-aged Frenchman who empathizes with his dreams.
A Gallic counterpart to American indiedom's immigration melodrama The Visitor.
The engrossing story and high quality of this film have the potential to draw good arthouse audiences.
The irony of the title is only the beginning of Lioret's stirring, incisive look at the physical and emotional realities of illegal immigrants.
A timely reminder that one should love one's neighbour, even if one's neighbour has a foreign accent and a different culture.
Writer-director Philippe Lioret has made a film about what happens to an ordinary man touched by a stranger in extraordinary circumstances.
A film that tosses audiences through an emotional wringer, creating an intense, challenging and surprisingly warm experience that questions the very concept of "welcome."
A humane and touching story of a young Kurdish immigrant's attempts to reunite with his girlfriend.
The script is sensitive and sharp, dealing in the intractable grey of the moral dilemmas that arise through the globally replicated issue of displaced people and their treatment by host countries
As long as the focus is on the taciturn underdog Bilal, the film's involving and not sappy.
Such a melodramatic set-up is no way to win round viewers who aren't predisposed to sympathise with immigrants - or with gloomy middle-aged men.
Audience Reviews for Welcome
A Kurdish illegal immigrant to France enlists the help of a divorced swimming instructor to aid in his swim across the English Channel to his girlfriend.
Ironically titled, Welcome is acting, writing, and directing at its finest. Every little detail in this film has a unique and poignant history, from Bilal's fear of plastic bags to the piece of jewelry Simon finds under the couch cushion. And the scenes last just long enough to make the film's point. There isn't a single wasted moment of connective tissue in this film, combining French cinema's unique penchant for subtlety with universally good storytelling. Vincent Lindon, whose work here and in Mademoiselle Chambon has a soulfulness not often found in other actors, gives a phenomenal performance as Simon, and Firat Ayverdi is very compelling.
The film may be an argument for immigration reform in France (and across the world), but it's more about the costs and benefits of compassion and generosity. Simon actions put him in jeopardy, and even though he may be motivated by a desire to reunite with Marion, he comes to understand that being a good person in a cruel world may be its own reward despite the costs.
Overall, Welcome is not to be missed, and Lindon is proving to be an exciting force in French film.
At the French port of Calais a group of immigrants from Kurdistan gather to try crossing somehow to England (why, I don't know ... stay in France, why not?) The authorities mass to stop them, of course. And so begins this light tale adrift in the churning waters of immigration. Clichès aplenty, but solid (if implausible) turns by the leads.More
A beautifully crafted story. Great actors. A thought provoking look at the issue of immigration, the challenges, the cost to individuals, and the enormous risks that desperate people are willing to take in order to improve their lives. I had no idea that the French government and police are able to wield such repressive power. SubtitlesMore
There have been many films about the trials of illegal immigrants in Europe but none have produced such an engaging story. This was helped by some convincing acting, developing the relationship between the two main characters of the reluctant local swimming instructor and the tenacious teenage Kurd seeking to enter England only to be trapped Calais's Jungle.More
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