Sundance Animated Film by Jonas Poher Rasmussen – Deadline

As Waltz with Bashir 13 years ago director Jonas Poher Rasmussen reaffirms To run away this animation can be used not only for entertainment, but for any purpose, in this case to tell the heartbreaking story of what some refugees from afghanistan went through to forge new lives in the west. It is an odyssey of seemingly endless suffering and insecurity, delivered in bold imagery that is both impressionistic and savagely real, which imaginatively reflects the brutal international odyssey that the subjects endured. Spiked only briefly by useful documentary and television footage of actual events, this is a special film that will find special favor with politicians and historically, as well as the gay intelligentsia. It certainly hit the Sundance Film Festival jury this way, winning the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize.

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Neon acquired the film after its Sundance premiere and will co-distribute it with Participant.

With certain safeguards built in to protect the identities of some of those involved, the tale traces the life of a landless man who has been perpetually on the run and / or in legal limbo for most of his life. The almost unimaginable story of what the central figure, called Amin – sometimes in the company of his family members – experienced after fleeing the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 1996, is repeatedly heartbreaking in the l ‘extreme; Imagine being trapped with your elderly mother and others in a sealed cargo container on a ship venturing through the freezing northern seas to a place you have never been with no guarantees as to your fate. arrival. It’s not much worse than that.

And yet, there are personal levels in this time-skipping timeline that heat up the narrative every now and then, most notably a romance between Amin and a fairly companion guy called Kasper who provides the only note of calm and quiet. relative contentment throughout history. In a country where homosexuals were so irrelevant that “there wasn’t even a word for them,” Amin remembers “falling in love” with martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme at the age of 5 or 6 years. “I was a little different,” he told himself, confessing a penchant for putting on his sister’s dresses.

Other than that, however, the story begins with the dark and spirals from there. As Amin relates, his father disappeared after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and his teenage brother was forced to join the military. A decade later, the Russians evacuated and fundamentalist Mujahedin and Taliban guerrillas took over.

Documentary footage of the “last plane out” conditions at the time is terrifying; Amin and his family were only able to get a flight to Moscow at the very last minute, with one-year tourist visas. It’s a year after the Soviet Union bites the dust, and an older brother, who lives in Sweden, is there to greet them (filling in details such as how it was so as not to be disturbed) . Massive housing complexes look awful, but they always beat the alternatives.

The storytelling skips sometimes, some information is not or cannot be divulged, some parts of the story remain elusive or confusing, but none of it matters much in the face of the emotional and situational immediacy of existences. desperate subjects. If the turbulent events recounted here had indeed been filmed, it is not certain that they would have had the same impact as the combination of techniques employed by Rasmussen. The visuals vary, ranging from relatively lush color animation reflecting (relatively) better times to rough monochrome images restrained to convey the more heartbreaking episodes. Chief among them is an illicit night sea voyage in freezing conditions on a container ship to take her mother and sisters to Sweden, costing the group around $ 20,000 in bribes from Russians. very doubtful. But what choice is there? Anyone who watches this will well remember their privilege.

Some of what follows is confusing, including what exactly happened to the various members of the group, and there is a big, unsolved leap between the anxieties of travel and the safety status of the men in New York City. But the gist is clear, and viewers around the world will undoubtedly wonder what they would have done under such circumstances, and whether or not they would live up to the terrible physical and psychological test of not having d money and no certain destination. With a lot of resourcefulness, Rasmussen takes you through this in a way that illustrates, educates, makes you look inside and asks if you have what it takes, if you can fend for yourself and survive in a cold world. and hostile.

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