starring: Behrouz Bigdeli, Belal Faiz, Rashid Aitouganov, and Bo Asdal Andersen
REVIEWER: lyall carter
On the verge of marriage Amin is compelled to reveal his hidden past for the first time.
As a film buff this is one of my favorite times of year. Many smaller, low budget films get their day in the sun as they bring untold stories from around the world to the silver screen. Garnered in award festival glory and making Oscar history in its nominations, Flee is a film you’ve just got to see. A work of cinematic art, Flee is hauntingly beautiful, bringing humanity to the European refugee crisis and all of its complexities.
As a child, Amin Nawabi and his family are forced to abandon their home in Afghanistan while the Soviet-Afghan War rages through the mid-80s. Decades later, he is settled in Copenhagen, living openly as a gay man and on the verge of wedding his partner. Just as he readies himself for marital bliss, Amin must, for the first time, confront the truth about his escape from Afghanistan and the loss of his family.
Flee is a work of narrative art. Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen deftly uses a combination of animation supplemented with historical news footage to tell this true story. It’s one of the most recent examples of how a director uses every visual device at his disposal in the pursuit of telling their story expertly well.
From the hand drawn scrawls to communicate displacement as Nawabi and his family flee to the darkened, inky, blackness of a heart stopping forest border crossing, you leave Flee having visually experienced the story in ways like never before.
But Flee isn’t just a story of the plight of refugees, but a beautifully tender tale of Nawabi discovering his queer identity. At times it’s subtly comedic, almost like a rom-com, which just adds to the wide eyed innocence and humanity of the story.
A work of cinematic art, Flee is hauntingly beautiful, bringing humanity to the European refugee crisis and all of its complexities.