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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars7
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
Recalling the subtly political psychedelia of Kenneth Anger, Profane is a beautiful dream of one woman's nightmare. On the surface, this nightmare appears to be the overtaking of her very soul by a Djinn: a malevolent demon of Islamic lore. But, venturing deeper, the film explores her fears and frustrations with an environment that refuses to understand her - a classic nightmare scenario - and her choices of both religious and sexual expression. White Americans ensnared in post-911 paranoia target her for reasons of practicing what they view as a dangerous faith and, even less credibly, allying with an enemy power, while fellow Muslims are appalled by her decision to keep sacred the pleasures of debauchery in addition to the name of Muhammad. These complex issues of identity and community are meticulously dissected without ever upsetting the film's delicate visual balance of dizzying dreaminess and visceral horror. The most prominent strength of Profane, though, is its intelligent and sometimes sensitive handling of potentially pornographic material, which elevates its eroticism to a company the likes of Bataille, Reage, and Miller. Alshaibi shows here that no matter how many dildos and demons one may encounter throughout the course of a given work, with enough cognizance amid the carnality, it is still possible for true art to emerge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
"Profane" is really an 'art film' with a capital 'A' - replete with psychedelic montages and a rapid-fire pseudo-documentary format - a fact that may lead some viewers to feel 'disappointed' by its' content and/or execution. The plot synopsis references elements such as the lead female character's 'work' as a professional dominatrix and the conflict that this presents to her Islamic background, and the DVD box cover art even depicts a naked woman lolling on a bed while the back cover is also full of images of nudity - making the film appear to be loaded with eroticism and sex. Indeed, the film IS loaded with sex and a fair amount of naked flesh but the 'tone' of the piece is decidedly 'thoughtful' rather that erotic and in this context the potentially erotic elements become more realistic and less titillating.

The film focuses on a pair of young women who work together in the sex trade - dominating masochistic men - and there are some interesting parallels drawn between the extreme male chauvinism prevalent in the middle eastern world and the reversal of the roles in the female domination play. One of the girls has an Islamic background that she is 'wrestling' with, while the other is bed-rock American and seems to have substance abuse issues, but no religious interests to speak of. A Muslim cab driver also figures prominently in the plot. He develops a relationship of sorts with the duo as he ferries the girls to and from their 'tricks' through wintry Chicago streets - they banter back and forth about religious issues & lifestyle choices, and he ultimately gets somewhat sucked into the girl's perverse realm. The documentary style of the film lends an air of 'reality' to everything and the actors all do a fine job of reinforcing the sense of credibility. There ARE a few pretty explicit S&M scenes of the girls 'at work' during their domination sessions - but these flash by rapidly in the qwik cut editing style that is prevalent throughout the movie. Thus, if one is purchasing this film thinking it is going to be an 'arousing' experience, they may be put-off. The closely personal approach that the director takes with his characters, ironically, removes much of the eroticism from the proceedings. On the other hand - this is a very well done piece of art cinema that tackles an (admittedly esoteric) subject of human drama in a poignant and effective way. Personally, I found it powerful and enjoyable, and would recommend it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2013
I watched it with my more conservative husband. It provoked conversations about youth, religion and sexuality. I'd love to see an expose such as this on the Catholics.;)
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on July 9, 2014
Loved this movie. Highly recommend it
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2013
More urban, foreign, Ney York beetniks struggling through life. Shot documento style but really goes nowhere. Please dont yell "self discovery" on me, this ones flat with a nudity catch. Neither was interesting.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
Cute women but movie is boring. I may re-rent it and watch it again to see if maybe I was just in the wrong mood.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
The description of the movie led one astray. You expect one thing and get far less. I would suggest that you spend your money on other movies.
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