Visions du Réel Review: Flee

Amin being interviewed

Throughout the current ‘refugee crisis’, which has seemingly been classed as such because it impacts on Europe, the narrative has tended to focus on generalisations. There’s an obvious reason for this, but it’s easy to forget that behind every story is a human being. A person with their own set of unique circumstances and family history. Their own reasons and motives. Complex emotions and often complicated life stories.

Amin is one such person. Twenty years ago, when he was just a child, he fled his native Afghanistan with his mother and elder brother. Their journey was perilous and they ended up separated in different countries. Whilst Amin had to grow up fast and do so on his own, he dedicated his life to his studies and career. Just a teenage boy growing up confused by his sexuality. However, there’s still one secret he keeps close. His story is told in Flee.

Flee is a beautifully animated documentary which follows one boy’s journey, both geographically and personally, to find a life where he can be free. Amin had to grow up fast and he never really allowed life to catch up, feeling trapped within the walls he has built to protect himself. Whilst it’s just one of countless stories, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film is skilfully composed skilfully composed and highlights many of the wider issues. Flee is wonderfully assured and deeply empathetic filmmaking.

Flee screens at Visions du Réel.

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