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Welcome review

An Iraqi refugee tries to cross the Channel to his girlfriend

Strong echoes of Michael Winterbottom’s In This World in this affecting immigration drama from French writer-director Philippe Lioret.

Seventeen-year-old Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) is an Iraqi Kurdish refugee, desperate to reach his girlfriend in London.

Stuck at Calais, he takes swimming lessons from a local instructor (Vincent Lindon), not telling the latter that he plans to swim across the Channel.

Acted with conviction, Welcome reveals the appalling conditions endured by the likes of Bilal.

Equally bold are the cogent criticisms of France’s stance not only on illegal immigrants, but on those who come to their aid.

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Available platformsMovie