Rent Flee (2021)

3.9 of 5 from 197 ratings
1h 29min
Rent Flee (aka Flugt) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
"Flee" recounts the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret he's kept hidden for 20 years, one that could threaten to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon-to-be husband. Depicted mostly through animation, the film shows Amin finally sharing the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan with his close friend, Flee's director Jonas Poher Rasmussen.
Directors:
Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Producers:
Monica Hellstrøm, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Charlotte De La Gournerie
Voiced By:
Daniel Karimyar, Fardin Mijdzadeh, Milad Eskandari, Belal Faiz, Elaha Faiz, Zahra Mehrwarz, Sadia Faiz, Georg Jagunov, Navid Nazir, Hafiz Højmark, Denis Rivin, Vadim Nedaskovskij, Viktor Melnikov, Mikhail Belinson, Ditte Graa Wulff, Bo Asdal Andersen, The Dungeon Master, Behrouz Bigdeli, Christian Torp Carlsen, Gustaf Georg Lindström
Writers:
Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Amin Nawabi
Others:
Monica Hellström, Jonas Poher Rasmussen. Monica Hellström, Charlotte De La Gournerie
Aka:
Flugt
Studio:
Curzon / Artificial Eye
Genres:
Anime & Animation, Children & Family, Documentary, Drama, Lesbian & Gay, Special Interest
Countries:
Denmark
BBFC:
Release Date:
11/04/2022
Run Time:
89 minutes
Languages:
Danish DTS 5.1, Danish LPCM Stereo, Dari DTS 5.1, Dari LPCM Stereo, English Audio Description, English DTS 5.1, English LPCM Stereo, Russian DTS 5.1, Russian LPCM Stereo, Swedish DTS 5.1, Swedish LPCM Stereo
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.39:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Director Q&A
  • Trailer
Disc 1:
This disc includes episodes 1 - 12 (Original Language Version)
- Special Features
Disc 2:
This disc includes episodes 1 - 12 (English Narrative Version)
BBFC:
Release Date:
11/04/2022
Run Time:
89 minutes
Languages:
Danish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Danish LPCM Stereo, Dari DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dari LPCM Stereo, English Audio Description, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English LPCM Stereo, Russian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Russian LPCM Stereo, Swedish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Swedish LPCM Stereo
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Director Q&A
  • Trailer
Disc 1:
This disc includes episodes 1 - 12 (Original Language Version)
- Special Features
Disc 2:
This disc includes episodes 1 - 12 (English Narrative Version)

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Reviews (2) of Flee

Subtitles hard to read - Flee review by JL

Spoiler Alert
01/05/2022

DVD 1 is in Danish, with hard to read white English subtitles. Order DVD 2 instead if you want a version dubbed in English. It’s a powerful film.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

An important story, but lacks impact - Flee review by JR

Spoiler Alert
06/06/2022

Amin's journey facilitated by ruthless people smugglers is one of great hardship and danger and deserves a wide audience. Unfortunately the rather mediocre animation detracted from the impact of his experiences which left him traumatised for years; and I wished it had been a documentary of the interviews with Amin. There some nice touches like the old footage of Afghanistan in the 70's were presented in a small window in a black screen, and at the end an animated view from Amin's house morphs into a filmed view and is the last image of the film, and underlines the film that might have been. 'Flee' lacks the impact and compelling power of such other memoir animations as 'Waltz with Bashir' and 'Persepolis'.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Flee (aka Flugt) review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Flee has received a lot of genre labels. It’s been referenced as a documentary, a historical drama, and an indie animated picture. It’s all of these things. It’s a personal film of great heart and tragedy that is astoundingly conveyed through the medium of animation.

At the center of this film is Amin Nawabi. He appears in animated form while being interviewed by director Jonas Poher Rasmussen in Denmark. Amin and Jonas are friendly enough with each other that Amin feels as though he can be a bit more open about his childhood. It was rocky, to say the least. As Amin reveals, he grew up knowing only war and persecution.

Early on, Amin defied gender stereotypes and would later grow up to be gay. We know this from how the film keeps cutting back to the present hearing the many discussions between Amin and his husband. But those feelings will remain hidden for much of Amin’s childhood. His life in Afghanistan turned violent as his family fled from mujahideen forces. They would end up as refugees in Russia where they faced even more persecution.

Most of the film finds Amin recounting the desperation of escaping Russian rule. There are many attempts to make it out of the country that fails. Life seems to be a hopeless string of failures and tragedies, especially with Russian forces treating refugees with unfathomable cruelty. Much contemplation is relayed from Amin about his perceptions of growing up during that chaotic time. Even though he tells all of this to a good friend, he’s still uneasy about being this open.

There are so many scenes that stuck with me in this animated biography. During a refugee escape through traffickers on a boat, Amin talks of how a relative spoke of dreams about dying. She spoke of how she imagined her own death was one of drowning, where you sink into the dark depths of water and fail to reach the surface. The imagery it conjures in Amin’s imagination is portrayed with beauty and surrealism through the abstract whimsy of animation. It’s this usage of the medium that engages the viewer in a manner that goes beyond the standard talking-head documentaries.

The depiction of Amin’s life is creatively conceived in how it chooses to stage the world. Scenes of the interview and Amin’s modern lifestyle are portrayed through what looks like a rounded and low-framerate rotoscope. Scenes of the past are portrayed in a similar style but with more of a stylistic and abstract edge. There are also clips taken from news of the era and how it affected Amin’s entire life. I liked this choice, reminding the viewers that while you’re watching an animated drama, the events that occurred were very much real.

This is a mesmerizing film that entrances so easily. It’s loaded with dangers in how Amin and his family try to hide from those seeking to persecute. There’s an odd sense of nostalgia, when Amin recalls the Russian opening of a McDonald’s, marking the same day he was nearly hauled away by Russian authorities for nothing. By the time the film reaches its crescendo of Amin making it to America, there’s a freeing sense of self in the way that he feels comfortable enough to enter a gay club. Years of terror are replaced with relief and love he had always sought. Even though we can see where this road is headed, it’s still a heartfelt moment that is one to behold.

Flee is such a powerful use of the animation medium, using it to perfectly communicate real-life drama in a compelling manner. By the final frame, Amin’s animated story transitions into a reality. We see his new home with his husband take shape. This is easily one of the best films of 2021 and it shouldn’t be missed, especially for being a brilliant showcase of animation’s highest potential.

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