2022 LUX Audience Award: Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen

2022 LUX Audience Award: Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen

On 12 December 2021, the ‘Watch & Vote’ period for the 2022 LUX Audience Award kicked off, inviting audiences across Europe to cast their votes for the three nominated films. In this second edition of the award, the LUX Selection Panel put forward three powerful dramas, unveiled during the 34th European Film Awards: Quo Vadis, Aida? by Jasmila Žbanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, France, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Norway, Turkey), Great Freedom by Sebastian Meise (Austria, Germany) and Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden). Rasmussen’s animated documentary, a moving story about a refugee who flees his country looking for a brighter future in Europe, has become one of the cinematic sensations of the year.

The film is enjoying a long and successful run, which started back in 2020 with the Cannes selection label, followed by its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Grand Jury Prize. Since then, Flee has captivated audiences, festival juries and industry members alike, collecting numerous awards at international film festivals (i.e. Best Nordic Documentary in Göteborg, Grand Prix at Millennium Docs Against Gravity, Best Feature Film in Annecy, Audience Award at Visions du Réel, etc.), as well as three European Film Awards (Best European Documentary, Best Animated Feature Film and the European University Film Award). After being nominated for the Golden Globes and the Spirit Awards, the Danish feature is also following in the footsteps of last year’s LUX Audience Award winner, Collective by Alexander Nanau, being shortlisted in two different categories for the Oscars (Best Documentary and International Feature Film).

Flee focuses on the life story of Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym for the film protagonist, who is also a close friend and schoolmate of the director), as he recounts his harrowing journey as a child refugee fleeing Afghanistan. Twenty years later, Amin is a successful academic in Denmark, where he managed to build a life for himself and lives freely as a gay man. However, he is constantly haunted by the secrets of his past, which he has never shared with anyone before, in the fear of losing everything he has achieved. “I didn’t intend to do a refugee story; I wanted to do a story about my friend”, says Rasmussen, with whom Amin opens up for the first time through a series of deeply emotional interviews.

One of the main features of the film is its remarkable use of animation (intertwined with some archive footage), which helps to tell Amin’s painful story in a more effective way. “Animation allows you to be much more expressive than you could be just with the camera”, according to the filmmaker, who delivers a compelling story about confronting the past and finding one’s place in the world, which becomes a truly cathartic experience for his protagonist.

You can vote for the film on www.luxaward.eu by 25 May 2022.