Interview: “Flee” composer Uno Helmersson (Podcast)
On Right on Cue, editor-in-chief Clint Worthington chats with film, television and video game composers about the origins and nuances of their latest works, as well as commentary on the score’s most important pieces..
Refugee stories are a common topic in documentary filmmaking, especially in recent years (Human flow, simple as water). But Jonas Poher Rasmussen is To flee is something unique. Recounting the story of one of Jonas’ childhood friends, a gay Afghan refugee named Amin, To flee traces the childhood of his subject in Afghanistan and the circumstances in which he had to leave (the violence and misery of the Afghan civil war in the 80s and 90s). Fleeing to Denmark without the rest of his family, he was left on his own to find out about himself – not just his sexuality, but his identity as well.
Told in striking minimalist animation, illustrating both interview segments with Amin and dramatized accounts of his past, To flee looks like a hazy memory of a traumatic story, both from the Middle East and its protagonist. But for all of its applicability to real-world politics, its scope remains deeply personal – how global seismic events reverberated throughout Amin’s life, and looking back with nostalgia on how they made him the man he was. ‘it is today.
The score is just as evocative as the animation, courtesy of the prolific Swedish composer and multi-instrumentalist Uno Helmersson. Experimental and understated, but perfectly in tune with the interiority of his subject, Uno’s dense and superimposed clues float around the periphery of the film to give voice to things Amin doesn’t say – about himself, about himself, about himself. her love life and much more.
Uno Helmersson Joins Us to Talk About His Unique Approach to Scoring To flee, and his working life in film and television music.
You can find Uno Helmersson on his official website here.
To flee is currently available in theaters. You can also listen to the sheet music of To flee on your favorite music streaming service courtesy of Milan Records.