Hot Docs 2015: ‘The Amina Profile’ and ‘Seth’s Dominion’

The Amina Profile (DIR. Sophie Deraspe)

By: Trevor Jeffery

The Amina Profile is three stories in one: a three-part politically charged long-distance romance with a twist;  a bit of Going the Distance meets a bit of Milk, with a lot of Catfish.

It’s a story of civil unrest under a dictatorship told through a somber love story: two women meant for each other, with half a world between them – Sandra in Montreal and Amina in Damascus.  Six months into their relationship, Amina disappears due to her blog receiving negative attention from authorities.  The social media-verse rallies, but then, the twist: Amina doesn’t exist.  Further digging leads to one man, Tom MacMaster, who faked it all.

It magnificently uses themes of social media, combining camera and computer screen, and video and chat logs to powerfully show Sandra’s vulnerability, all the while suggesting to the viewer how strong she really is.  Through excellent pacing and emotionally driven imagery and interviews, it’s hard for the viewer to not be enthralled by Sandra and her story.

It’s a very personal look into how a man fooled countless people, and the one person he hurt most.  Through The Amina Profile, Sandra gets a voice, and justice in the court of public opinion.

Catch The Amina Profile at Toronto’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on:

Saturday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox

Monday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. @ Hart House Theatre


Seth’s Dominion (DIR. Luc Chamberland)


By: Addison Wylie

Unlike other biographical films that honour accomplished artists (Eric Khoo’s excellent Tatsumi, for example), Luc Chamberland’s doc about Palookaville cartoonist Seth doesn’t set out to be heart-wrenching.  The filmmaker is interested in creating appeal through his featured artist’s personable, quirky existence.  It’s this humbling, clean-cut approach that earns Seth’s Dominion its merits.  Although, the doc’s punctuated whimsy is sometimes too much to handle.

Seth’s Dominion does a particularly good job at justifying Seth’s workmanship.  With only vague details, Seth’s artistic process could be deemed as self-indulgent fodder to the common patron.  He works on various mediums and his personality suggests he knows more than everyone else in the room.  Chamberland, however, opens Seth like a book with years of interviews and motivating insightful.  Seth’s wisdom is often paired with gorgeous animation.  The piece about time standing still in timeworn locations is one of the many highlights.

I was quite smitten with Seth’s Dominion.  Its 42-minute runtime may be a turnoff from those festival patrons looking for more bang for their buck, but Chamberland’s splendid film is a necessary watch for anyone who adores animation and are enamoured by the cartoonists behind the work.


Catch Seth’s Dominion (along with I Thought I Told You to Shut Up!!) at Toronto’s Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on:

Friday, April 24 at 8:45 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox

Saturday, April 25 at 1:00 p.m. @ Royal Cinema

Thursday, April 30 at 9:45 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre


Click here for more festival details and to buy tickets.

Related Articles:

Wylie Writes @ Hot Docs 2015

Reviews of Shoulder the Lion and The Wolfpack

Reviews of Committed and Hadwin’s Judgement

Reviews of Lowdown Tracks and Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:

Trevor Jeffery: @TrevorSJeffery

Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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