Sundance Film Festival
It seems every year brings one notable documentary that features a major “plot twist,” and The Amina Profile may be this year’s model. That makes it difficult to discuss all aspects of the film, since much of its thematic resonance stems from the nature of the twist. Of course, if the words “A Gay Girl in Damascus” mean anything to you, then you’ll know exactly where the plot is going. I did, so I was ahead of the characters in the film, but I can happily report that this doesn’t harm its effectiveness. Although it does mean that I can’t speak to how guessable the big twist is.
The “Gay Girl in Damascus” refers to the eponymous Amina Arraf, a Syrian blogger who gained worldwide popularity as she posted about the unrest in her country as the Arab Spring emerged. At the same time, she was in a long-distance relationship with a French-Canadian woman named Sandra, with whom she formed an intense emotional bond. And then it was reported that Amina had been abducted by Syrian police. And after that, well, there lies spoiler territory.