The concept of a Muslim woman balancing her religious beliefs with her day job as a professional dominatrix is an intriguing one indeed and will one day serve as the basis for a wonderful film.
Unfortunately, Usama Alshaibi’s PROFANE is not this film.
Despite its pretenses of deconstructing the delicate balance of growing up religiously in an ever-growing secular world, PROFANE is merely another pathetic exercise in pretentious filmmaking where sloppy camerawork, empty religious symbolism and use of excessive drones masquerade as “deep philosophic inquiries” into the mind of a woman on the verge of a metaphysical breakdown.
Now, I should state for the record that I have no problems with experimental filmmaking. Heck, there are many who would consider me to be something of an experimental filmmaker myself. However, what I think separates directors like David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky from their hordes of imitators is the fact that while the former may take unconventional approaches to their storytelling, they’re still telling stories. There’s cause and effect. Say what you will about narrative filmmaking, but narrative is the defining quality of Film as an art form. It’s how we as audiences relate to it and to completely disregard it in the name of whatever self-indulgent crusade against “the norm” you may be going on is a delusional one indeed.
I was actually really looking forward to watching PROFANE as I think the concept of the film is truly an ingenious one and as previously mentioned, will hopefully one day be explored by a filmmaker who’s interested in finding a way to convey the complexities of the material in a manner that will both engage the viewer intellectually and entertain them with a story that has the emotional depth of a SECRETARY. But unfortunately what I got was an extended director’s cut of a bad student film.
Thanks to Exploitation Retrospect.