Trying to fall in love with film again.

Flee deserves it's Oscar nomination.


Story 

Flee tells the story of Amin Nawabi, an Afghan refugee detailing his life for the first time since seeking asylum in Denmark 

There is so much more to the story (though it doesn't feel right to call it a story seeing as Amin himself is telling us about the things he went through) than meets the eye. 

Voice Acting 

For most of the film, you're hearing Amin's voice and he has an incredibly calming voice that is able to translate emotion. The way he describes his life and articulates his feelings makes you feel as though you were right beside him as these things were happening. 

Writing/Direction 

The fact that this is an animated documentary is very interesting. I am curious as to why the filmmakers chose this medium to relay this story.

I would say the main theme of this film is 'acceptance'. From Amin accepting his sexuality to finding a place in Denmark and building a life there. And Flee does this through Amin's own words. He lets us into his head and takes us through his experiences at his own pace.

I love the juxtaposition of live-action footage and animation. It not only sets the film apart from a visual standpoint, but it also reminds you that what Amin is saying is real, something that one tends to forget when looking at the animated characters on screen. It adds authenticity and realism.

Animation

Flee looks different from any movie I think I've seen, ever.

The animation is two-dimensional but still feels tangible. The best way to describe the animation in this movie is 'striking in its simplicity'. Having the movie look like this,  not only serves the movie from an aesthetic standpoint but a story-based one too. Seeing as the movie does not have a lot of bells and whistles, you can focus on the words that Amin is saying. You feel the emotions behind his words. 

I really like how the filmmakers portrayed negative emotions and traumatic scenes. They have an almost faded dreamlike quality, with rougher, smudgier lines. Almost as if it matches the turbulence Amin feels within himself.

Interestingly enough, even though the animation is "simple" (and I don't use that word lightly), the animators still manage to convey emotion through the eyes of the characters. 

Still from Flee (2021) dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Score/Soundtrack 

Music takes a bit of a backseat in this film. That is not to say that it is not there, however, Sound Desing takes a more prevalent role. And the sound design really aides the storytelling  Jonas Poher Rasmussen and  Uno Helmersson placed sounds where they would best fit the story. From the sound of children playing on the street in Kabul to the quiet of the room where Amin's interview is being conducted. When music is used in the movie, it has a narrative function rather than filler noise in the background.

Overall Thoughts

I asked on my Instagram yesterday for film recommendations and this one came from a really good friend of mine IJ, and I have to say a big thank you to her because this movie is beautiful. Not only does it tell a compelling and at times heart-wrenching story, but it also does so in a medium that we rarely see. The subject matter of the movie is not an easy one to tackle but here you're led through the different facets of Amin's life in a way that feels more like a conversation between friends than a documentary. 

One of the most important things that Flee does is remind us that Amin's story is one that millions of people experience daily while trying to look for a better life.

Flee was recently nominated for an Oscar and if you ask me, it was 100% well-deserved.

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