French film on migrant’s swim across Channel bags award

`Welcome’ wins a top EU award

27th November 2009: It was criticised for glamorizing illegal efforts of migrants to get into Britain at the time of its release earlier this year. But the French film on an illegal migrant’s attempt to swim into Britain has now bagged acclaims.

The controversial movie called `Welcome’ has won a top EU award for its commemoration of ‘integration’ in Europe. The MEPs in Brussels this week awarded it the EU’s prestigious Lux Film Award.

The flick is about an illegal migrant, who tries to swim across the Channel from Calais to Britain and “dramatizes” a likeable migrant’s illegal attempt to reach our shores.

Media reviews suggest the director of the film, Philippe Lioret, made a comparison between the ordeal experienced by many migrants in France and the plight of Jews in Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War.

In reference to the French laws that threaten people who help migrants the director said to the newspaper La Voix du Nord:

"To see that a decent guy can all of a sudden be charged and that he can go to prison is crazy… It feels like it’s 1943 and we’ve hidden a Jew in the basement."

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