Take a Drink: every time you hear someone say “A Gay Girl In Damascus”
Take a Drink: every time “Amina” is threatened.
Take a Shot: for the sexy time in the opening scene.
Do a Shot: for the super awkward confrontation near the end of the movie. (You’ll know it when you see it).
Do a Shot: when you realize most of the world was catfished by a hack writer.
By: Frankie B. (A Toast) –
Being the ignorant American that I am, I only had a cursory knowledge of the subject matter of this documentary. I had heard about the controversy surrounding the blog, Gay Girl In Damascus, in passing on the news at some point. I blindly agreed to review this, and went into it not knowing what to expect at all. Sometimes you need to go into a movie a little in the dark, i.e no expectations. Good thing that this was a pleasant surprise, and not a hunk of shit like the last few movies that I’ve seen.
The Amina Profile is directed by Canadian filmmaker Sophie Deraspe and follows Sandra Bagaria, a Montreal woman who was in an online relationship with controversial blogger Amina Arraf. We follow her on her quest to find the truth behind the real identity of Amina. What started as a quest to rescue Amina after a reported abduction, turns into a quest for the truth when Amina is revealed to be a hoax.
I have watched a ton of documentaries throughout my life, and this is one of the more engaging ones that I have seen in the past few years. It connects to a tone of modern issues such as the evolving conflict in Syria, LGBT rights, the power of online social networks, and catfishing. Let’s be real, the first three are pretty important. The fourth, catfishing, probably doesn’t really need to be mentioned, but it does end up being a huge part of the movie. The sign of a good documentary to me is having something simply presented to you, allowing you to make your own opinions. That is something that this movie does superbly. We get a ton of input from the interviewed parties, but ultimately both sides are shown and no conclusions are pushed on you.
We also get an early contender for Villain of 2015, Tom MacMaster, who becomes the focus of the last third of the movie. Dude essentially used the persona of Amina to chat and sext with a bunch of women from around the world, then knowingly created a blog with falsified info, and continued it solely because it was his first successful piece of writing. He was too ashamed to end the lie when he got in over his head because he didn’t want to admit he was a creep. Such a piece of shit move, bro.
You’re going to be hard-pressed to find a more engaging documentary this year. If you have any interest in the subject matter of this movie, jump on it as soon as you can.