directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen
by Angelo Muredda The past is as fluid as the rotoscoped animation used to bring it to life in Jonas Poher Rasmussen's Flee, a high-concept work of creative nonfiction whose unconventional style promises an immersiveness it can't really deliver. Rasmussen's animated documentary profile of his childhood friend, pseudonymously named Amin Nawabi to protect his identity, is intermittently moving and insightful about the horrors, the exhausting subterfuge, and the briefest moments of levity that define his life as a queer Afghan refugee, first in Russia and then in Denmark. But the opacity of its subject--whose story of family suffering, persecution, hiding, and now something like domestic stability, has frequently shifted not just for state officials but also for his friend and biographer--leaves the film as vague as its buzzword title. Moreover, Rasmussen's inability to do more with those discrepancies besides shrug at the ambiguities of first-person storytelling from far afield places plagued by civil war flattens the closing emotional pitch.