Rating (4 out of 5)
Summary: What a creative way to present a documentary about such an odd subject! “Flee” is an international, animated documentary, and is nominated in all three categories for this year’s academy awards. “Flee” was worthy of my time.
Plot: Covers a young boy, Amin’s (Daniel Karimyar/Fardin Mijdzadeh) story of escaping Afghanistan following the Russian invasion in the 1980s, and his traumatic journey to Denmark.
Summary Continued: For many out there, you probably forgot that the Russians invaded Afghanistan and failed miserably. The journey starts there. The movie effectively weaves in a few historical news clips without animation. That is an excellent check to remind you this isn’t just a fictional story and is a beautiful contrast against the animation.
The story then migrates to Russia, which is the first place his family fled. I worked in Uzbekistan in the ’90s, and from my experience there, I can say the depiction of the Russians at the time is accurate. Corruption was accepted and commonplace.
What this movie captures to me is how hard some people have to struggle to survive. They often must make hard decisions that result in their survival or someone else’s. The ones we have the luxury of sitting back in the US and opine, “Oh, I would never do that.” Put in the same circumstance, you have done way worse.
The dialog between the Armin and the documentarian was particularly honest to me. They struck me as two school chums merely having a discussion. Their banter made the movie authentic and personal.
Definitely, the suddenness of the end was a bit harsh. The director didn’t know how to end it gracefully, so the movie just stopped. There were a couple of portions where the story drags because his story drags.
I am glad I watched “Flee.” An emotional journey told in a unique format. I will recall this movie many more times than “The Power of the Dog.”
This isn’t for small kids, and definitely, many adults will be annoyed at the animation. You also have to read, as there are subtitles throughout the movie.