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Flee (2021)Flee (2021)

Flee (2021)

A humanizing look at the refugee crisis

Animation, Documentary

best
THE VERY BEST

8.5

movie

Denmark, Estonia

Danish, Dari, English

Discussion-sparking, True-story-based

2021

Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Behrouz Bigdeli, Belal Faiz, Daniel Karimyar

89 min

Synopsis

Recounted mostly through animation to protect his identity, Amin looks back over his past as a child refugee from Afghanistan as he grapples with a secret he’s kept hidden for 20 years. A thrilling documentary made with a blend of animation and archive footage tells an immensely powerful tale of a gay Afghan survivor and his need to confront his past in order to truly have a future. Amin arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Denmark from Afghanistan. Today, at 36, he is a successful academic and is getting married to his long-time boyfriend. A secret he has been hiding for over 20 years threatens to ruin the life he has built for himself. For the first time he is sharing his story with his close friend. FLEE weaves together a stunning tapestry of images and memories to tell the deeply affecting and original story of a young man grappling with his traumatic past in order to find his true self and the meaning of home.

Our Take

8.5
Renee Cuisia

When Amin sits down for a tell-all interview about his troubling past, his memories come to life in vivid animation. Sometimes they are sweet and intimate, like when he recounts his time as a playful boy in a much freer Afghanistan. But often, they’re marred by the unbelievable horrors of refugee life. Now a successful academic and soon-to-be husband, Amin discovers the inescapability of his status and identity, the reality of which continues to threaten his safety to this day.

Relevant and vital, Flee sheds some much-needed light on an often-overlooked phenomenon. More than just displaying factoids and numbers, it relays the specific unease and constant vigilance that comes with fleeing one’s home. But as Amin’s story, it is also richly detailed and wonderfully personal; for all its harsh exposés, the film leaves enough room for Amin’s stirring realizations about love, identity, and sexuality.

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