“More Than I Remember” presents a less palatable version of why people immigrate, in animated form, but is no less a story to behold.
|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|
|Content Rating||Not Rated|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
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.
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
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.
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.