Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film Flykt approaches the Oscars on three fairways.
Danish movie Flykt is in a unique position in the Oscar preview. It has a good chance of being nominated in three categories to be awarded the best film – not just one area of expertise.
Flykt is nominated by Denmark for Best Non-English Language Film. It rose to the shortlist of 15 movies alongside it, for example Cabin No. 6. It has also been selected for the documentary shortlist, and in the animation category it is considered a notable challenger for pre-favorites, Pixar Lucalle and Disney Encantolle.
Jonas Poher Rasmussen the documentary tells the story of an Afghan refugee, Aminista, who has lived as an adult in Denmark. The struggle greater than the escape experienced in youth is related to how to live as one’s own in a very free society. Amin’s homosexuality could put her relatives at risk.
“Animation can deal with topics that are very difficult to talk about,” Rasmussen says remotely from Copenhagen.
“It’s easier for the viewer to receive painful things.”
Amin is a pseudonym. It was anonymity that was the factor that determined his consent to the filmmaking. Rasmussen became acquainted with Amin as a teenager when he moved to a small Danish town.
Rasmussen became a radio journalist and documentary filmmaker. He often asked his friend if he would be interested in telling his story of what happened in the 1980s.
“I didn’t know what he was carrying inside,” Rasmussen says.
“This became a film about a man who escapes his whole life until he finally finds a home. My perspective changed completely. ”
Refugee issue does not feel In Flykt from the top. Rasmussen says it’s a theme so heavy that if it had been just that, he probably wouldn’t have made a long documentary.
Flykt tells of the whole person and does not force Amin into the role. That was the most important guideline for Rasmussen.
“The stories of refugees are often told in a compassionate way. If someone else tells the story, it’s downright. ”
If Amin were to make assumptions based on his cultural background or refugee, only part of his life story could be outlined. And not Flykt tell a media-reduced story about a refugee who comes to the country because he needs something.
The story begins in the 1980s, when Amin was Jean-Claude Van Dammea an admirable boy in Kabul who still seems safe and modern. The longest milestone in the family’s difficult journey was in Russia, where police corruption was both a threat and a bailout.
The steps along the way for human smugglers on their journey are presented as an animation. There are some harsh archival images from Russia and Estonia in the early 1990s, for example.
“If you make a traditional documentary, you can’t show what’s left uncharacterized,” Rasmussen says.
“You can create scenes in an animated film. Anything is possible: I ask the animators for a solution and they come up with it. ”
Animation could imagine distancing from the right person. In Flykt the impression is the opposite, however, when Amin’s own voice supports the story. Rasmussen gets very close to his main character, caught up in his conflicting feelings.
“The story comes right in front of the viewer,” Rasmussen ponders.
The effect is psychological and is related to the audience’s own process of interpretation: Amin’s speech and animated image provide a foundation on which the imagination can strike even unconsciously. Similar means were used to illustrate the memories of Israeli soldiers Ari Folmanin in the document Waltz for Bashir.
“Animation can thus be more expressive than man himself.”
Finnish distribution For Flykt not yet confirmed.
Flykt, in English Flee, was already awarded Best Documentary at its Sundance Film Festival in January 2021. It won an award from the Nordic Film Council in November. In December, it made history by winning both Best Documentary and Animation awards at the European Film Awards Gala.
Jonas Poher Rasmussen has worked on the film for a total of eight years. An Oscar campaign is now underway.
“It feels like all my time is going on in these campaigns now,” Rasmussen says with a laugh.
“This is awesome, but I don’t have any experience of that. In the past, I’ve made pretty little documentaries. I just wish I had time to think about my next film in the spring. ”
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