17 February 2018 | bbgon
Captivating and disturbing
I just returned from the film screening at the Berlinale. The audience gave this film a big ovation! 'Profile' tells a story of a British journalist, Amy (Valene Kane) who investigates ISIS recruting young girls and accidentally almost falls in love with one of the terrorists (Shazad Latif). The story is filmed through screen-capture, meaning that we only see Amy's computer screen, all her conversations, messages, Skype calls with Bilel (the ISIS terrorist) etc. It's mind-blowing how much you can tell from and with our online conversations and how easily recognisable everything is, the functions, the software she uses, the messengers. I wonder what we'd make of this film 20 years on. :)
Due to this unusual style, the film feels very intimate: we often see Amy or Bilel close-up, skyping, and can experience all their emotions almost first-hand. Valene Kane's performance takes center stage and is especially good, with deep emotions hiding behind her pretence persona of a converted young Muslim.
The film keeps you in suspence from the beginning till the end. There are often moment when you fear Amy would blow her cover or end up in great trouble. The storyline is well-built, every little details plays a role: as an example, just follow the titles of Amy's video files (recordings of her conversations with Bilel).
The story itself is very disturbing and scary, especially when you see that even a rational grown-up woman almost falls for the recruiter's tactics. A young girl has very little chance to escape.
Great job from everyone involved! I recommend everyone to watch this film.