Art of Animation

‘Flee’ offers a unique approach to depicting a journey of self-discovery

'Flee' offers a unique approach to depicting a journey of self-discovery
Written by Noah Roy

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Amin Nawabi is a 36-year-old student who lives in Denmark. He is about to marry his friend of many years, and besides his ambitious attitude towards academics, his life seems to be approaching a new renewal and clarity.

What follows this freedom is an opportunity to look back in memory. He remembers this memory of an unknown listener. This memory is a memory of helplessness, fear and dread, as the memory acts as a dark break hidden in the mind of Nawabi. The Secret is the basis for the powerful and soul-changing 2021 “Escape” documentary, Jonas Poeher Rasmussen.

“Escape” is an extraordinary, beautiful and heartbreaking depiction of what many people take for granted: how the smallest of problems many face today can be a limitation for others.

For the most part, “Escape” is Nawabi’s recollection of his childhood in Afghanistan. The specialty of this documentary is that it is told mostly through the use of animation, a unique and imaginative approach that brings the viewer into that nostalgia-like state of youthful experiences, both beautiful and shocking.

The basis for “absconding” is as bleak as can be – the Nawabi family is trying to leave their country in wartime. More specifically, they were trying to leave when the Mujahideen – members of multiple guerrilla groups operating in Afghanistan – grew as a force throughout the Afghan Civil War in the 1980s. This was a moment in their country’s history that provoked relentless panic and fear. Through the ordeals of their country’s persecution, Nawabi also faced another difficult challenge in his mind: whether or not he would leave with his family.

Through border crossings and family turmoil, Nawabi confronts the Memory of the Nation. Not only that, but Nawabi even wonders what home could mean to him.

While the term “documentary” is a valid classification for the genre of this film, the way Nawabi tells these stories is a bit more dramatic. The theory of this art form of documentary is the theory of “telling it how it is” – how events occur and the multiple perspectives of the participants. This was a retelling in a fresh and assertive way unlike any documentary I had seen before, and presented without the clarity of a simple documented approach.

The animation in “Flee” makes the viewing experience more magical. Through animation, these reflections act as dreams from time immemorial. Animation acts as its emotional backbone: imperfect and broken. Choosing to portray it this way throughout the image constitutes a new approach to shooting a documentary.

Rasmussen said in an interview with ScreenDaily that the use of animation resulted in the production process being the slowest he had ever done. “But in the end it was a good time for the movie. It also helped us allow Amin time to revisit old memories and traumas.

The disruptive tale is represented visually with no feeling of fluidity or comprehensiveness, but rather, it is broken, like the protagonist and his anti-emotional mentality. With an abstract presentation that keeps the audience engaged, the film is alluring and stunning, providing the viewer an opportunity to sit back in a new and vibrant cinematic experience.

The film “Flee” raises the viewer’s attention to a large degree, and is innovative on a whole new cinematic level. It’s a shocking love story and its aftermath, teaches us all an important lesson about the government and its barons. With that said, the film will give many people an insight into the history of a country’s challenges during one of the toughest sequences of their era. At Focus, we set our hearts on one man and his ambitions for survival – to become independent and uniquely accustomed to life in a new world.


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Noah Roy

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