The reviews were mixed when “Welcome” won the European Parliament’s 2009 Lux Prize, awarded to films that show “the process of building Europe in a different light.” Previous winners were the highly acclaimed “The Edge of Heaven” and “Lorna’s Silence” — and criticisms of “Welcome” focused on the fact that it offered less political depth than the previous two, and also belittled the plight of illegal immigrants by linking the subject to a personal relationship issue.

True, there are a certain amount of mental acrobatics required to take in the unlikelihood of a middle-aged Frenchman befriending a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee mainly to show his ex-wife that he’s not the selfish oaf she thinks him to be. On the other hand, what other motive rings true for a first-world citizen awakening to the desperate situation of a third-world teenager who has walked 6,500 km from Iraq to Calais in order to be reunited with a girlfriend in London?

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