Profane | Chicago Reader


Like a bargain-basement version of Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void, this Chicago-shot feature by Usama Alshaibi (Nice Bombs) uses a panoply of shock tactics—rapid editing, blurry superimpositions, drug use, and S-M—to evoke nauseous fascination with the sexual underworld. And like Noé, Alshaibi seems as curious about religious transcendence as degradation. The heroine, a Jordanian immigrant, works contentedly as a dominatrix but wants to reconnect with her Muslim roots; scenes of her lurid career alternate with a sweet subplot in which she befriends a religiously devout Middle Eastern cabdriver. Though certainly not for the squeamish, the movie is a striking story of life in the Arab diaspora, aided rather than undermined by its occasional narrative incoherence.



  • Usama Alshaibi


  • Manal Kara
  • Molly Plunk
  • Dejan Mircea
  • Golbon Eghtedari
  • Jessica Bailey
  • Edward Salem
  • Kiel Frieder
  • Celina Paddock
  • Bret Koontz
  • Stephan Wozniak
  • Nigel Murphy


  • Kristie Alshaibi
  • Usama Alshaibi

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