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French Film Series: Welcome

Both a study of a budding friendship and a compassionate look at the perils faced by illegal immigrants, Philippe Lioret's Welcome centers on Bilal, a 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd who is stuck in Calais, in Northern France, and Simon, a recently divorced swimming teacher. Desperate to join his girlfriend in London, Bilal vows to swim across the English Channel if he has to, setting the stage for his meeting with Simon. Unmistakably a condemnation of xenophobia in France, Welcome also features richly drawn, fully fleshed-out lead characters.

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