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“Whether It’s a Refugee Crisis or a Pandemic, We Are All in This Together”: Director Jonah Poher Rasmussen | Flee

Flee

How did events of 2020—any of them—change your film, either in the way you approached it, produced it, post-produced it, or are now thinking about it?

I was in Oslo, Norway finalizing Flee, when the Danish Prime Minister went on TV calling for a national lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I made it home to Copenhagen just before the borders closed and from there it felt like everything went into slow motion. The very final steps of finishing the film took as long as the rest of the entire production, and as all the cinemas around me had closed and showed no signs of opening up again I started to think about if my film would lose its relevance in all of this. But as time passed and I became more and more familiar with COVID it became crystal clear to me how this virus just underlined the fact that we all breathe the same air, and whether it’s a refugee crisis or a pandemic, we are all in this together.

Now it’s almost been a year since everything changed and I had to hurry back home. With a vaccine being distributed, returning to a ‘normal’ seems within reach. While we wait, watching a film about someone like Amin—who overcame having to fleeing for his life for five years—can hopefully give strength and inspiration to help us through to better times.

(Check back daily during the festival — new answers are uploaded on the day of each film’s premiere. Read all the responses here.)

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