Montreal woman Sandra Bagaria meets a Syrian woman named Amina Arraf online and the two begin a long-distance relationship, communicating entirely through text messages. Amina begins a blog called “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” which becomes a media sensation, due to Amina blogging about the developing Syrian uprising. Things take a turn when Amina is kidnapped and Sandra begins a campaign to free her. However, when no sign of Amina Arraf can be found, it raises doubt about whether she is even a real person.

The Amina Profile begins with the highly erotic transcription of the initial exchange of text messages between Sandra Bagaria and Amina Arraf. This was the beginning of, what Sandra believed to be, a very real romantic connection. Amina would then go on to receive major media attention for blogging her on-the-ground reports from Syria, which was considered an inspirational story about the power of blogging.

It’s hard to say too much about The Amina Profile without giving away all the documentary’s revelations, however the film does take a swerve in the second half and becomes more a film about the power of social media to both inspire and manipulate. The film uses dramatizations to depict Amina Arraf, which adds to the mythical status she develops. Ultimately, the true focus of the film is Sandra Bagaria, who seeks to unravel the truth about this Arab girl she met online.

Is The Amina Profile essential festival viewing?

Beginning as the story of an online romance in the midst of an uprising, The Amina Profile ends up turning into a stranger than fiction cautionary tale, which is most definitely worth checking out.

The Amina Profile screening times

The Amina Profile trailer

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