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Welcome – Video

Directed by Philippe Lioret, 110 minutes, France, Film Movement, 2009. With Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi, Audrey Dana, Derya Ayverdi.

Celebrated director Philippe Lioret’s award-winning new drama WELCOME is a compassionate and inspiring story about the hope of new beginnings and the power of love, centring on two couples contending with issues of separation and dislocation.

Welcome is an outstanding movie. A story about refugees living under terrible conditions, and even risking their lives in hope to create a better future in the UK. This story has been inspired of reality, these refugees were allowed to stay in Calais but they were not welcome and not allowed crossover to UK. The swimming coach, played by Vincent Lindon was great in his role; an ordinary man, having his own sentimental problems, for the woman who has left him, took the risk to help a young Kurdish refugee Bilal, who wanted to cross the English Channel by swimming to be with his girlfriend. It is a film which made one reflect on the reality of what these refugees must have confronted daily.

“Bilal, a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee, has struggled his way through Europe for the last three months, trying to reunite with his girlfriend, who recently emigrated to England. But his journey comes to an abrupt halt when he is stopped by authorities in Calais, on the French side of the Channel. Left with no other alternatives, he decides to swim across. Bilal goes to the local swimming pool to train, where he meets Simon, a middle-aged swimming instructor in turmoil over his imminent divorce. Simon agrees to help Bilal, hoping to win back the affection of his wife, who does volunteer work helping immigrants. But what begins as a relationship based on self interest, develops into something much bigger than Simon could ever have imagined, as he too will ultimately risk everything to reach happiness.”

 with acknowledgement and thanks to cinema-ny@frenchculture.org


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