The Viewing Booth
Saturday, August 14, 2021, 12:30 p.m.
Museum of the Moving Image - Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Ra'anan Alexandrowicz. U.S./Israel. 2020, 73 mins. What are we actually seeing when we look at images? To what degree do we believe our eyes, and what extrasensorial factors define our doubts and investments in what is visible? Minimalist in approach yet far-reaching in its application and consequence, The Viewing Booth triangulates an on-screen director, an on-screen viewer, and the viewer in the audience, all reckoning with disputed images. In a lab-like editing suite, director Alexandrowicz invites a series of viewers to watch and comment upon videos portraying life in the occupied West Bank—some generated by Palestinian citizens, others by the Israeli government—before fixing on Maia, a young Jewish American woman whose responses prove compelling, thoughtful, varied, and disconcerting enough to warrant a repeat visit. Throughout, Alexandrowicz walks a razor-thin line of instigation and openness to his own process, allowing viewers to wrestle and identify with the issues that surface, echoing a worldwide media crisis in which measures of truth have been utterly destabilized. View trailer.