Hot Docs 2015 Review: The Amina Profile
This initially erotic documentary from Sophie Deraspe will challenge the viewer, appealing to your idealistic, romantic side while telling a social and political tale of importance. That’s because we follow the online liaison between two women half a world apart, joined by intellectual passion and a penchant for words.
The electronic tryst between Montrealer Sandra Bagaria and the enigmatic Amina Arraf, a Syrian-American blogger living in Damascus, reveals itself something bigger. Amina becomes a political figure, her words inspiring and enlightening those around the globe. She speaks of oppression and fear, all the while Sandra specifically and others in general read her blog and await her public and private words.
Then Amina is abducted, and things fall apart.
The Amina Profile smartly welcomes you into something private and intimate, helping you align with Sandra while slowly unraveling the mystery around Amina, one that involves investigative journalists and news outlets.
This story that took place just a few years ago speaks to our desire to be romantically and political hopeful, to assume the perseverance of people and to project onto others our wishes and desires. It’s not so much that some blindly trust the world around us; it’s that we want to. Smartly crafted and expertly-executed, The Amina Profile doesn’t attack anyone in particular, but presents their interaction and investment into this story.
Indeed, it’s a geopolitical tale that has consequences for so many, but this doc always returns to the personal, and rightly so. Sandra and others speak to the event open and honestly in this cinematic, creative piece of emotional storytelling.