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The Viewing Booth

The Viewing Booth

70' 2019
dir.: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

Film experiment - how do we perceive audiovisual testimonies when they conflict with our beliefs?

The Israeli NGO B'Tselem is known for its first-person video productions documenting human rights violations against Palestinians equipped with the organization's cameras. The seemingly imposing documentary value of these materials has been appreciated by Israeli courts and film festivals, including ours. However, Ra'anan Alexandrowicz asked himself how they are perceived by people who clearly identify themselves with the other side of the conflict. In a specially created laboratory situation, we observe a young, intelligent American woman who strongly supports Israeli policy. Isolated from the world in the darkened studio, Maia watches B'Tselem materials, sharing her thoughts and feelings in real time. And after six months, Alexandrowicz asks her for a similar commentary to her previously recorded materials. The Viewing Booth - an experimental meeting between a documentary filmmaker and a viewer - goes to the very heart of the fundamental questions such as how is communication possible in times of polarization, what is the truly persuasive power of audiovisual testimony and, therefore, does engaged documentary change the world even a little.

Maciej Nowicki

Ji.hlava 2020
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2020
CPH:DOX 2020
True/False Film 2020
Doc Aviv 2019
70' 2019 Israel, USA
Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Zachary Reese
Neta Dvorkis, Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Atzmor Productions