The Amina Profile is a fascinating look at our world of online celebrity and digital dating against the backdrop of 2011’s Arab Spring.
Some people may re-call the infamous “Gay Girl in Damascus” blog story. I only remembered it vaguely myself, and therefore found myself on quite an engrossing journey with this investigative documentary. I won’t reveal too much (although the VIFF film guide gives a lot of it away) except to say the blog was by a woman named Amina who was an out lesbian living in the middle of Syria. She started to get more readers as the tensions in that country grew, and when she told of the story when her dad defended her from secret police she became a popular face for the growing revolution.
Director Sophie Deraspe examines her growth in popularity and how she impacted others in the world, it‘s thrilling story with many twists. In the last third of the film she focuses on Amina’s o-line Quebecois girlfriend and here is where the story slows down. We don’t know enough about the girlfriend and what she got out her virtual relationship to invest too much in her story.
The Amina Profile directed by Sophie Deraspe (Canada). No further screenings at the Vancouver International Film Festival.