SECTION World Cinema Documentary Competition
RUN TIME 84 min
LANGUAGE English and French/Arabic
SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles
"Thanks for adding me. You are absolutely gorgeous XOXO."
"Thank you Amina. You are quite hot yourself."
There is no indication that this typical online flirtation between two strangers would turn into a case of shocking international intrigue. For months, Sandra in Montreal and Amina, a Syrian-American, bond romantically and intellectually. Encouraged by Sandra, Amina launches a blog called "A Gay Girl in Damascus," representing a marginalized voice in the Middle East on politics, religion, and sexuality. Rapidly garnering worldwide attention, Amina becomes something of a star blogger. But when Syria enters the Arab uprising of 2011, Sandra receives word that Amina has been kidnapped, and soon the search for Amina becomes a global concern and an even larger mystery to solve.
Filmmaker Sophie Desraspe creates a hypersexualized tableau and follows Sandra from Montreal to Istanbul to Tel Aviv to Chicago to reconstruct and unravel a fascinating love story-cum-political thriller. Amina is truly a tale of our times—one that starts and is solved via the Internet—and brings into question the ethics, accountability, and very human consequences surrounding it. —K.Y.