Hot Docs 2015: The Amina Profile (2015) ★★★★★


Amina Arraf. Born on October 12, 1975. She has a strong, and extremely unique personality. She is afraid of nothing, not even the heavily armed secret police of Damascus, who can arrest her, or even worse, kill her, for her modern views on life. But Amina has a big secret, a secret that can destroy her society and increase her chances of death. Despite that, she starts her own blog and names it  ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’, where she announces to the entire world her sexuality, and on top of that, includes her name and a photo.

What is it? Is Amina Arraf a brave girl from Damascus, or an insane person who has no idea what will happen if the Syrian police find her? If you have never heard of Amina Arraf and her story, I would highly recommend that you don’t google her name, or the name of her blog, and patiently watch the documentary film instead, where I am sure you will get more than enough information about who she really is…

The Amina Profile introduces Sandra, who tells the story of how she comes to know Amina. They are attracted to each other and the relationship between them makes Sandra want to know more about this intriguing girl from Syrian Damascus. But, after Amina is supposedly kidnapped by the police for her sexual orientation, the whole world starts to talk about this fearless Middle Eastern girl. The press coverage was unprecedented. Everyone was trying to contribute their time and effort to save a stranger from being raped, tortured and killed.

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I honestly have never seen such a documentary film where every single scene is so very hard to comprehend or to accept as a real story that happened and not so long ago. The most fascinating part of the story- A Gay Girl in Damascus is its unprecedented press coverage. However, the real victim of this story is the trustful Sandra Bagaria, who believes in Amina and in her existence as if she had met her in person. Sophie Deraspe`s documentary film is absolutely captivating, shocking and unbelievable. It`s not easy to watch, or follow, if you put yourself into the shoes of Sandra Bagaria. And there is one thing Sandra can be proud of, she owns great material, which could become an excellent Hollywood film, with any ending she chooses. Unfortunately, the ending she must face right now, and at this moment, is far beyond her expectations… and not in a good way…

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