“More Than I Remember” presents a less palatable version of why people immigrate, in animated form, but is no less a story to behold.


Director(s) Amy Bench
Screenplay By Mugeni Ornella, Amy Bench, Carolyn Merriman
Date Released (Film Festival – Tribeca Film Festival) 6/14/2022
Genre(s) Action, Adventure, Drama, Young Adult, Animation, Biopic
Duration 14 Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Cast
Mugeni Mugeni Ornella

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

At 14 years of age, Mugeni’s life was forever changed when her village was invaded and razed. From then on, she found herself a refugee, reliant on the kindness of strangers and officials to find the kind of stability needed to take care of herself and seek out if anyone she knew, specifically her family, survived.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Mugeni

Originally, Mugeni was a girl from a small village community, where everyone knew everyone, and it was like having an extended family member in each home. However, after the village was attacked and burned down, she found herself heading east and eventually to the United States to learn, grow, and even find the stability needed to seek out whether she was an orphan or simply just far from her known relatives.

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)Recommended

Highlights

A Story Not Frequently Seen In Animation

While still fairly recent, “Encanto” presented us with a similar immigration story, featuring a family displaced by fighting, “More Than I Remember” doesn’t have music and comical characters to lighten the mood. This isn’t to say Mugeni’s story is one tragedy after another and purely about human suffering. That isn’t the case at all.

More so, stripped of fantasy and music, “More Than I Remember” may not be palatable for children to consume and lessons easily taught, but it does surmise one experience with being a refugee in a way which is much needed. Mugeni’s story of resilience, hopping from country to country, knowing no one, not even the language, pulls on your heart strings. Add in not knowing whether her parents and siblings lived or died and having to rely on the kindness of strangers, and it creates a tale that so rarely features Black faces.

It makes it feel like “More Than I Remember” expands not only the narrative of what a refugee looks like and their stories but also the importance of having programs that welcome people rather than a nationalist point of view.

Movie Directory

An old school film reel drawn by artist Dean Nelson.

On The Radar


Ratings

  • Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
  • Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
  • Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
  • Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.

Special Categories/ Tags

  • Indie: By our definition, independent films are films you have to seek to find due to limited availability or lack of a marketing push.
  • Film Festival: Featured in this tag are films and shorts which were discovered thanks to various film festivals, so some of the productions may not have wide availability but still may deserve to be on your watch.
  • Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
  • Ending Spoilers: Trying to remember how a film ended, or want a different take on the ending, then check out the "ending spoilers" category. 
Mugeni (Mugeni Ornella) when she was back in her village
More Than I Remember (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
"More Than I Remember" feels like a necessary piece to illustrate what it means to be a refugee, whether Mugeni's age or any, and have to adapt and change who you are to survive, and potentially thrive, far away from a place with any semblance to what you've known as home. All with the type of perseverance and grace that holds people, groups, and even governments accountable, but never a point to dwell on.
Highlights
A Story Not Frequently Seen In Animation
Disputable
85


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Avatar of Amari

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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