"Flee is an extraordinary story."
THE "IMDB" PREMISE:
"FLEE tells the extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of marriage which compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time."
OUR [TO THE POINT] REVIEW:
At a young age, Amin knew he was gay, often fantasising about muscular men of the likes of Jean Claude Van Damme. Unfortunately, in his country of Afghanistan in 1984, being gay was a death sentence. Now 36, living as an academic in Denmark and preparing to marry his long-time boyfriend, Kasper, Amin must confront his past that he has been hiding in order to move on with the new life he has built.
Directed by his friend, Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee tells Amin’s incredible story of growing up in a dictator-run Afghanistan and seeing the horrors of a war torn country through the eyes of a teenager. Amin watched as his father was forcibly removed from his life, spiraling into a series of horrific events which saw Amin and his family attempt to leave his home country in an immigration experience that can only be described as ‘inhumane’.
Having never told his story before, to his partner or friend, Amin decides to relive his past in a series of filmed interviews in which he lies down on a mat with a camera above his head. His eyes closed and his breath deep, Amin recounts his incredible, yet harrowing experiences to Jonas. At times struggling to confront his past, Amin’s bravery in telling his unique tale has created one of the most engaging, heartbreaking, yet life-affirming documentaries detailing the tenacity of a boy who so quickly was forced to become a man to make sure his family survived, all whilst hiding his true sexual identity from them all.
What separates Flee from other documentaries is that the majority of the film is animated in a wonderfully eye-catching water-colour painting style. The interviews with Amin and the recreations of his childhood are drawn so vividly, detailing his life in a way that allows access to a visualisation that no traditionally filmed documentary could allow. And while the animation is cut in with the occasional archival footage of war-torn Afghanistan in the 80s, it’s the animation that engages you, and Amin’s story that captivates you.
Flee is an extraordinary story told in such a beautifully unique way. Amin’s life serves as a tale of hope in times of heartbreak and turmoil. Whether it’s making the hard decision of revealing your true self to a world that may not accept you, or doing whatever it takes for your loved ones to survive the harrowing immigrant experience, Flee is ultimately a story about the power of love in all its forms.