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Directed by Philippe Lioret
  • YEAR 8 - FILM 2 / 
  • France / 
  • 2009 / 
  • French, Kurdish & English with English subtitles / 
  • 105 min
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DVD $14.95 $11.95
Stream $2.99
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DVD $24.95 $19.95
Stream $3.99
"Extremely evocative! Newcomer Ayverdi is a significant discovery."
– Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily


Bilal, a 17 year-old Kurdish refugee, has struggled his way through Europe for 3 months, trying to reunite with his girlfriend, who recently emigrated to England. But his journey comes to a halt when he's stopped by authorities on the French side of the Channel. Left with no alternatives, he decides to swim across, and goes to the local swimming pool to train. There he meets Simon, a swimming instructor in turmoil over his imminent divorce. Simon agrees to help Bilal, hoping to win back the love 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 have risk everything to reach happiness.

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Customer Reviews

Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
What an excellent film! "Welcome" was shown at the Seattle International Film Festival with rave reviews. I didn't see "Welcome" then, but I was curious to see it. Once I got the film, I agree that Welcome's praises were well deserved. It has a great storyline, excellent performances by all involved, and beautifully executed. "Welcome" is about how some people do things that have an ulterior motive, but that breaks down and a strong friendship bond is forged instead. One man uses another to save his marriage from an impending divorce, but instead helps a young man pursue his love interest by teaching him to swim across the English Channel to bypass the custom authorities. Love knows no bounds.

Redmosquito - Customer Review
One of the best movies I've seen in the past 20 years! Powerful, sensitive, enveloped in realism. A 'Hollywood' film would never have ended the movie in the same fasion. This film, the actors and director obviously were more concerned about 'truth telling', than box office dollars. My humanness was apparent all through this film! Bravo!

Saish - Customer Review
It is one of those movies that opens your eyes to the unwanted truth. Welcome shines the spotlight on the the horrible treatment of refugees in France and pulls some of our heart strings throughout the movie. Welcome takes us through a journey of emotions and, unexpectedly, has a very sad ending that put a tear in our eyes. This is what a movie like Welcome should do and Philippe Lioret has done this perfectly. However, the act of kindness shown by Simon Calmat could be seen as a selfish act with the aim of getting back with his ex-wife. This part of the plot ruins the feeling of kindness that we all wished to see in a movie and, in my opinion, was a mistake by the writers. Also, this story has no training montages, no "you can do it" sloganeering, no races across the finish line, no bursts of inspirational music. An element which can be seen as a necessity in a movie like this. In conclusion, although the plot might not be as good as it can be, the message behind it is as clear as daylight, and a good one it is.

Guru Ravikumara - Customer Review
'Welcome' is a very moving film, giving us an insight to the struggles of modern day refugees. It has both an engaging plot, following both Bilal and Simon's personal struggles of seperation. However, it only shows a section of Bilal's journey, while at Calais. This leaves a hole in the viewer's mind when mentions are made to Bilal's previous journeys and his relationship with Mina. It's ending, while sad, is realisitic and effective at moving the viewer, revealing the extent refugees go to in order to reach their haven. The dialogue is realisitically unsentimental and is complimented by a soundtrack that adds an extra layer of emotion to the dialogue. In conclusion, I would highly recommend it to any viewer interested in the case of refugees, or watching a good drama.


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Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) and Simon (Vincent Lindon)
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Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) and Simon (Vincent Lindon) LS
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Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) and Simon (Vincent Lindon) on Beach
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Bilal (Firat Ayverdi)
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Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) and Simon (Vincent Lindon) in Car
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Director Philippe Lioret
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