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A Kurdish teen finds help from a French swim coach in Calais in his endeavour to swim across the channel to England to meet with his girlfriend in London.

★★★★★

Committed performances atone for the contrivances in this engrossing melodrama, which sees Vincent Lindon’s Calais-based swimming coach help Kurdish teenager Firat Ayverdi cross the Channel. Director Philippe Lioret mostly makes his political points in the margins, as Ayverdi is spurred on by reuniting with his girlfriend in London, while Lindon hopes his charity will save his marriage.

Lioret also critiques the cynicism of the police, as they try to control the endless stream of human aspiration and misery coursing through their patch. Chilly images of docks and beaches reinforce the hostility of the coastal world, nevertheless offering snatches of hope amidst the uncertainties and dangers of immigration.

Realistic in tone, if a little melodramatic in material. This is compelling mainly for the performances.