A refugee tells his story about how he fled Afghanistan and ended up in Denmark in Flee. Danish filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen interviews his friend Amin Nawabi about his life growing up in Afghanistan and how he had to flee with his family to escape the growing war and turmoil. Ending up in Russia, Amil desperately has to find a way to join his siblings in Stockholm but instead ends up in Copenhagen, where he first met Jonas in high school.
Flee is a predominantly animated documentary by director Jonas Poher Rasmussen and executive producers Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The film uses animation both to hide the true identity of the subject Amin Nawabi and to recreate the events of his childhood and early teens, has he fled with his family from war-torn Afghanistan in the late-1980s, before finally ending up in Copenhagen in 1995. The film also has the added layer of Amil realizing at a young age that he was homosexual, despite it being a concept that was practically non-existent in Afghanistan.
Flee is a film that can technically be considered a documentary, with some live-action archival footage, though it's presented in such a way that it's almost a semi-fictionalized narrative, right down to changing the name of the main subject Amin Nawabi in order to protect his identity. Flee details a decade in Amil's life, kicking off in 1984 – with the very fitting soundtrack choice of “Take on Me” by Aha – and ending in 1995. The end result is a very solid hybrid film that ends up being quite timely, given the recently renewed turmoil in Afghanistan.
Flee is screening as part of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival
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