Welcome was a popular French movie released in 2009 that was directed and written by Philippe Lioret starring Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi and Audrey Dana.

The film depicts a young Kurdish refugee in who envisions and then trains to swim across the English Channel. Bilal (Firat Ayverdi) traveled across Europe in an attempt to meet up with his girlfriend who emigrated to England. A rough journey becomes even harder when Bilal reaches the northern coast of France where he can see the White Cliffs of Dover across the English Channel.

His dream of meeting his love of his life is stopped by the local authorities and he remains stuck in France.

His love of his girlfriend drives him to desperately devise a plan to swim across the Channel. So he starts training in a local swimming pool and meets up with a middle-aged swimming instructor going through the pain of a divorce. The two men bond together and set off to realize their dreams.

But sometimes life imitates art.

The body of an Asian female immigrant wearing a wetsuit with Vaseline, a compass, energy food bars and a plastic bag with her clothes under her wetsuit was washed up on the coastal town of Wimereux in northern France.

Apparently, she had reached to swim across the English Channel unescorted and alone. A Calais police spokesman explained, “It may have been depicted in [Welcome], but this is the first time we have ever seen any illegal immigrant actually try to swim the channel…although there may have been successful attempts that we don’t know about.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source


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