A multilayered examination of history, culture, loss, and love, Flee is a triumph for its humanity, beauty, and furtherance of documentary filmmaking.
The animated documentary story of one Afghani man’s recounting of an upbringing riddled by war as he grapples with a secret he has kept from all those around him, including his fiancé. Flee is groundbreaking in its use of unique animation, spliced with real images of the times in question, to bring the life Amin, a gay refugee from the Middle East, to the screen. Much of the film is told from Amin’s point of view, as conveyed to a friend who is interviewing him. While we never see Flee’s subject, his being is palpable from the inflections in his voice that carry the varied emotions dictated by his memories.
The complexity of Amin’s experiences can not be understated with his family on the run, separated, and in constant fear. Filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen smartly allows Amin’s words to carry the film, elevated by the animated scenes for the privacy (and protection) of those involved. The result is Flee, a documentary unlike any you’ve ever seen before that packs a punch made up of all the feels and with a lesson for all to hear.
Flee is now playing in select theaters.
Photo from The New York Times