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LINDSEY BAHR AP Film Writer
Filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen was 15 when he encountered a new face on a local train in his sleepy Danish town. It was the kind of place where immigrants couldn’t help but stand out, but Rasmussen noticed this kid’s style first. He had some and most people there didn’t.
Rasmussen knew the boy, Amin (a pseudonym), lived with a foster family down the street and had come from Afghanistan, but he didn’t know much else. Riding together to high school daily, they became friends eventually. Amin didn’t talk about his past or his family and Rasmussen didn’t probe — they were just kids after all. It would take some 20 years for Amin to start telling Rasmussen, then a working filmmaker, the real story of his childhood. The result is the animated documentary “ Flee,” and it’s easily one of the best films of the year.
Rasmussen spent years interviewing Amin before starting work on the film. He also includes some actual newsreel footage, which helps remind the viewer that these events were very real. “Flee” is such a rich, seamlessly told and emotionally affecting story that it’s easy to get wrapped up in the narrative and forget that fact. But Rasmussen and his team are there to make sure we don’t.