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Bilal, 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.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"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."
‑ Vadim Rizov, Village Voice
"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."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"A Gallic counterpart to American indiedom's immigration melodrama The Visitor."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"A timely reminder that one should love one's neighbour, even if one's neighbour has a foreign accent and a different culture."
‑ David Stratton, The Australian
"[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."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"A one-note moral lesson devoid of dialogue with the very hot-button topics it feigns interest in."
‑ Nick Schager, House Next Door
"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."
‑ Marcy Dermansky, About.com
"The engrossing story and high quality of this film have the potential to draw good arthouse audiences."
‑ Ed Scheid, Boxoffice Magazine
"Writer-director Philippe Lioret has made a film about what happens to an ordinary man touched by a stranger in extraordinary circumstances."
‑ Jason Di Rosso, MovieTime, ABC Radio National
"Don't discount the pleasure of watching a weathered star breathe life into an otherwise banal film."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"...the 'white man's perspective' on the Middle Eastern immigrant saga seen from the Afghan POV in Michael Winterbottom's "In This World...""
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"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."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The irony of the title is only the beginning of Lioret's stirring, incisive look at the physical and emotional realities of illegal immigrants."
‑ Alice Tynan, Concrete Playground
"A film that tosses audiences through an emotional wringer, creating an intense, challenging and surprisingly warm experience that questions the very concept of "welcome.""
‑ Colin Fraser, FILMINK (Australia)
More reviews for Welcome on Rotten Tomatoes

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