Profile Movie Recommendation and Discussion

Profile Movie Recommendation and Discussion
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Profile Movie Recommendation and Discussion. The past couple weeks, I’ve been on vacation. A gloriously low-key break in between two jobs (voyeur much? figures.) wherein my family and I went up to Aspen, hiked, and I sat around and watched movies by myself while the kids finished up school. One movie that I watched during my break was Profile. A crazy little film about a woman catfishing ISIS. Yes. A very, very, very, stupid idea. But that is what makes this movie infinitely watchable.

The movie sort of reminds me Host – the zoom horror movie – in form only. Well, this is also a horror movie, but for totally different reasons. Or maybe John Cho’s movie, Searching. Or, more obviously, Catfish. Basically these are all movies told via computer interactions with other people – and recorded from the computer screen itself. Profile also plays this game as it only shows us what our heroine can see as she tries to bait an ISIS fighter into a relationship for a story.

Profile Quick Overview

Amy (played by Valene Kane, who was in Rogue One), is a journalist who, in desperate need of money, agrees to write a story about European women that are captured and used as sex slaves by ISIS. To do this, she creates a couple of fake social media accounts for the purpose of connecting with ISIS fighters in Syria. Soon, Amy finds someone, Abu Bilel Al-Britani (played convincingly by Shazid Latif – Second Best Quality Hotel) and begins chatting with him over Skype.

Amy, we quickly learn, is having troubles financially, as well as romantically with her boyfriend. She really does blur the line convincingly between sane journalist, and floundering mark for the obviously more experienced ISIS hunter on the other end of that internet connection. She doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere with convincing her boss at the news agency to hire her into a full-time gig. She can’t seem to get any more advances against the work she already has under way. She is obviously in trouble and has no business running with a story like this one.

Profile Movie Recommendation and Discussion - or how real world films can be way hella scarier than any fictional horror movie ever.

We watch as Amy’s relationship with Al-Britani deepens. Who is playing whom? And what exactly is Amy really hoping for here? As she tries to learn more and more about how ISIS recruits women to come to Syria, she’s desperate to get particulars from Al-Britani, in order to keep her news media bosses happy. But the more she learns, the deeper she goes, and the closer she gets to this obvious predator. Well, it’s obvious to everyone in the theater watching that Al-Britani is a predator. But is it obvious to Amy? And the more disaffected she gets from her job, her boyfriend, and her life, the more the viewing audience wonders where this will end.

But Profile is also a fantastic film that dissects the problem of the internet. As Amy kicks off the charade, she randomly creates a profile and an age, and fake details about her life. And as various aspects of her online life profile crumbles the closer she comes to getting sucked in to the claws of this Syrian predator.

Thoughts on Profile

Catfish is one of my favorite movies, solely because it tells the story of a very real problem with online relationships. It was a very real perspective on our society’s real problem with being fake. Similarly, Profile shows a very real problem of Syrian ISIS fighters baiting innocent women into becoming sex slaves there in Syria. They are baited with lies, and elaborate fictions, all in the hopes of beating yet one more infidel. Fiction? Oh, no, not at all. Profile is based on a very real problem with very real world repercussions.

Where I really fell in love with Profile was wondering which way Amy was going to go. Was she playing Al-Britani? Or was he playing her? As Amy’s life spirals, and she closes off from her translator, and her boss, and she separates from her boyfriend… it really begins to look worse and worse for her. I mean, she even heads out to Amsterdam where awaits instructions on how to get in to Syria. Wait, WHAT?

Profile tells the story of women who are desperate for connection and love, and currently find themselves at a loss in this particular society. And the allure of something different, even in war torn Syria, is really enticing. If you get a chance to head over to your local theater and watch this film, I can’t recommend it enough.

Edited by: CY