VIFF 2018: Profile


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      Young Brit journalist Amy poses as a newly converted Muslim in Timur Bekmambetov’s film, which dares to tell its entire story on a desktop.

      The gamble works, creating tension and a sickening urgency out of Amy’s real-time Skype chats with the ISIS recruiter and possible human trafficker Bilel, covertly monitored by an editor, an IT guy, and a boyfriend, who all throw their own panicky curveballs into the action. Valene Kane carries the movie, especially when Amy begins to fall, apparently, for the sexy extremist. Sadly, in the spirit of its dodgy source material (Anna Erelle’s In the Skin of a Jihadist), the film ends up floating BBC media types as the moral authority in the kind of false narrative generally pimped by BBC media types. The Twitterati will probably mistake all this for subversive, and formally perhaps it is. In essence, however, Profile is no less reactionary, lazy, or smug than The Post or an Adam Curtis doc. Do better, filmmakers.